Trumpcare breaks every promise Trump made about health care

Josh Israel

Josh Israel Senior Investigative Reporter, Think Progress

On the campaign trail, one of Donald Trump’s most oft-repeated promises was that he would repeal the Affordable Care Act, commonly known as Obamacare, and replace it with “something terrific.” This mythical, magical, secret plan was largely left to the imagination of voters, but he did make a few claims about what it would include.

Trump promised that his replacement would be “a lot less expensive” for consumers and for the government. “You know who makes the money with Obamacare? I don’t know if you know. The insurance companies,” he explained.

On 60 Minutes in September of 2015, Trump vowed that everyone would be covered if he won. “I am going to take care of everybody. I don’t care if it costs me votes or not. Everybody’s going to be taken care of much better than they’re taken care of now.”

Pressed for specifics, he explained that “people are going to be able to go out and negotiate great plans with lots of different competition with lots of competitors with great companies and they can have their doctors, they can have plans, they can have everything.”

Trump reiterated his pledge that every American would get coverage at a February 2016 MSNBC town hall. “We’re going to take care of them. We’re going to take care of them. We have to take care of them. Now, that’s not single payer. That’s not anything. That’s just human decency.”

“You will end up with great health care for a fraction of the price and that will take place immediately after we go in. Immediately! Fast! Quick!” he told supporters at a Las Vegas rally that month.

While he did not deliver that immediate savings in his first days as president, on Monday night, House Republicans released their Trumpcare proposal, the “American Health Care Act.” Tuesday, Trump took ownership of the proposal, calling it “Our wonderful new Healthcare Bill [sic]” in a 7:13 a.m. tweet.

The bill, in its current draft, does not do the things Trump promised. While it would provide a windfall for the insurance companies Trump once derided — including allowing a 30 percent surcharge for anyone who has had their coverage lapse and giving a tax credit to any insurance company that overpays its CEO — it could strip coverage from millions of Americans and provide far less help to poorer Americans seeking to buy insurance.

The bill would benefit richer Americans at the expense of the poor. With millions more uninsured, the savings to the government might be more short term than long, as the government will eventually have to pay some of the cost of their lack of care. And while younger people who are healthy might pay less, older people would likely have more expensive plans under this legislation.

While the proposed cuts will mean higher out-of-pocket costs for those who benefit from Obamacare’s subsidies, Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) has proposed that they could make up some of the difference by not buying iPhones.

Not all Republicans were thrilled with the proposal. Senators Rob Portman (R-OH), Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), Cory Gardner (R-CO), and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) released a letter objecting to its sharp cuts to Medicaid. Meanwhile, others objected to the bill for being too generous. Rep. Justin Amash (R-MI) derided it as “Obamacare 2.0,” while Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) denounced it as being “Obamacare Lite.”

Trump has not yet publicly responded to their concerns, but did tweet to assure his support team at Fox & Friends that the bill was only the beginning.

In his first month in office, Trump broke 64 promises. By embracing this bill, he will be breaking several more.

Josh Israel is a senior investigative reporter for at the Center for American Progress Action Fund. Previously, he was a reporter and oversaw money-in-politics reporting at the Center for Public Integrity, was chief researcher for Nick Kotz’s acclaimed 2005 book Judgment Days: Lyndon Baines Johnson, Martin Luther King Jr., and the Laws that Changed America, and was president of the Virginia Partisans Gay & Lesbian Democratic Club. A New England-native, Josh received a B.A. in politics from Brandeis University and graduated from the Sorensen Institute for Political Leadership at the University of Virginia, in 2004. He has appeared on CNBC, Bloomberg, Fox News, Current TV, and many radio shows across the country.

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