Monday, January 16, 2017

What did Donald Trump do today?

He began backing off a plan for universal health care almost as soon as it was made public.

In an interview with the Washington Post conducted Saturday and published late Sunday, Trump spoke in general terms of a plan that would guarantee "insurance for everybody." Taken at face value, this would be a universal national healthcare plan to replace private insurance, which would involve a much bigger role for government than the Affordable Care Act that Trump campaigned against

However, any such plan conflicts with both Trump's campaign promises to end Obamacare and with Congressional Republicans' preparation to move the government out of health entitlement programs. Today, Trump's spokesman Sean Spicer began walking back the "insurance for everybody" language in favor of a plan where market forces would make insurance affordable, and Trump would personally negotiate deals with drug companies.

Why is that a bad thing?

  • If a president has a "plan" on Saturday night, it should still exist on Monday morning.
  • Conservatives who voted for Trump may have believed him when he said he thought government-run health care was a bad thing.
  • It's bad if a president thinks the job involves haggling over line items with medical supply contractors.