Trump Calls for the Opposite of Trumpcare

Ian Millhiser

Ian Millhiser Senior Constitutional Policy Analyst, Think Progress

Donald Trump, in one of his first Tweets after a trip abroad that left at least one major foreign leader questioning if the United States is still a reliable ally, announced what appears to be a reversal of his White House’s stance on health care.

Trump is right that adding “more dollars to Healthcare” could be beneficial. Though the Affordable Care Act drastically reduced the percentage of Americans without health insurance, inadequate subsidies have led to high premiums and deductibles. More money could help fix this problem, making health care more affordable for people in the individual insurance market.

But the Trump administration supports legislation, which recently passed the House, that would strip health care from 23 million people by 2026. As the Congressional Budget Office explains, Trumpcare achieves this result in part by cutting federal healthcare spending by more than a trillion dollars. Among other things, these spending cuts finance hundreds of billions in tax cuts for the rich.

In a previous administration, if the president of the United States made an announcement like Trump’s health care tweet, it would be a major event. Past presidents typically vetted their policy statements through their advisers and through other stakeholders within government. And a president’s statement that they would like to see more healthcare spending would indicate that the administration as a whole now supports more healthcare spending.

Trump, however, gave an interview last month which made it clear that he doesn’t understand how Trumpcare actually works. He’s repeatedly promised to protect programs like Medicaid, though he now supports a bill that cuts $834 billion from that program. And his budget would cut Medicaid even deeper — $1.3 trillion — over the next ten years.

The most likely explanation for Trump’s tweet, in other words, isn’t that the White House is abruptly shifting position. It’s much more likely that Trump just doesn’t know what he’s talking about. Again.

***

Reposted from Think Progress.

Ian Millhiser is a Senior Constitutional Policy Analyst at the Center for American Progress Action Fund and the Editor of ThinkProgress Justice. He received a B.A. in Philosophy from Kenyon College and a J.D., magna cum laude, from Duke University. Ian clerked for Judge Eric L. Clay of the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, and has worked as an attorney with the National Senior Citizens Law Center’s Federal Rights Project, as Assistant Director for Communications with the American Constitution Society, and as a Teach For America teacher in the Mississippi Delta. His writings have appeared in a diversity of legal and mainstream publications, including the New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, U.S. News and World Report, Slate, the Guardian, the American Prospect, the Yale Law and Policy Review and the Duke Law Journal; and he has been a guest on CNN, MSNBC, Al Jazeera English, Fox News and many radio shows.

Posted In: Allied Approaches

Union Matters

Failing Bridges Hold Public Hostage

From the USW

From tumbledown bridges to decrepit roads and failing water systems, crumbling infrastructure undermines America’s safety and prosperity. In coming weeks, Union Matters will delve into this neglect and the urgent need for a rebuilding campaign that creates jobs, fuels economic growth and revitalizes communities.

The Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) gave the public just a few hours’ notice before closing a major bridge in March, citing significant safety concerns.

The West Seattle Bridge functioned as an essential component of  the city’s local and regional transportation network, carrying 125,000 travelers a day while serving Seattle’s critical maritime and freight industries. Closing it was a huge blow to the city and its citizens. 

Yet neither Seattle’s struggle with bridge maintenance nor the inconvenience now facing the city’s motorists is unusual. Decades of neglect left bridges across the country crumbling or near collapse, requiring a massive investment to keep traffic flowing safely.

When they opened it in 1984, officials predicted the West Seattle Bridge would last 75 years.

But in 2013, cracks started appearing in the center span’s box girders, the main horizontal support beams below the roadway. These cracks spread 2 feet in a little more than two weeks, prompting the bridge’s closure.

And it’s still at risk of falling.  

The city set up an emergency alert system so those in the “fall zone” could be quickly evacuated if the bridge deteriorates to the point of collapse.

More than one-third of U.S. bridges similarly need repair work or replacement, a reminder of America’s urgent need to invest in long-ignored infrastructure.

Fixing or replacing America’s bridges wouldn’t just keep Americans moving. It would also provide millions of family-supporting jobs for steel and cement workers, while also boosting the building trades and other industries.

With bridges across the country close to failure and millions unemployed, America needs a major infrastructure campaign now more than ever.

 

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There is Dignity in All Work

There is Dignity in All Work