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 ThinkProgress.org 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

Get to Know AFL-CIO's Affiliates: National Association of Letter Carriers

From the AFL-CIO

Next up in our series that takes a deeper look at each of our affiliates is the National Association of Letter Carriers.

Name of Union: National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC)

Mission: To unite fraternally all city letter carriers employed by the U.S. Postal Service for their mutual benefit; to obtain and secure rights as employees of the USPS and to strive at all times to promote the safety and the welfare of every member; to strive for the constant improvement of the Postal Service; and for other purposes. NALC is a single-craft union and is the sole collective-bargaining agent for city letter carriers.

Current Leadership of Union: Fredric V. Rolando serves as president of NALC, after being sworn in as the union's 18th president in 2009. Rolando began his career as a letter carrier in 1978 in South Miami before moving to Sarasota in 1984. He was elected president of Branch 2148 in 1988 and served in that role until 1999. In the ensuing years, he worked in various roles for NALC before winning his election as a national officer in 2002, when he was elected director of city delivery. In 2006, he won election as executive vice president. Rolando was re-elected as NALC president in 2010, 2014 and 2018.

Brian Renfroe serves as executive vice president, Lew Drass as vice president, Nicole Rhine as secretary-treasurer, Paul Barner as assistant secretary-treasurer, Christopher Jackson as director of city delivery, Manuel L. Peralta Jr. as director of safety and health, Dan Toth as director of retired members, Stephanie Stewart as director of the Health Benefit Plan and James W. “Jim” Yates as director of life insurance.

Number of Members: 291,000 active and retired letter carriers.

Members Work As: City letter carriers.

Industries Represented: The United States Postal Service.

History: In 1794, the first letter carriers were appointed by Congress as the implementation of the new U.S. Constitution was being put into effect. By the time of the Civil War, free delivery of city mail was established and letter carriers successfully concluded a campaign for the eight-hour workday in 1888. The next year, letter carriers came together in Milwaukee and the National Association of Letter Carriers was formed.

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There is Dignity in All Work

There is Dignity in All Work