Trump renews his assault on health care
Donald Trump is once again trying to deprive millions of Americans of affordable health care. Instead of taking steps to strengthen and expand the Affordable Care Act (ACA), he is attempting to destroy it.
Trump recently ordered the Justice department to support the ruling of a judge in Texas who decided that the entire ACA is unconstitutional because in 2017 the Republican-controlled Congress reduced the individual mandate payment requirement to zero. The judge’s ruling has been widely criticized and is currently under appeal.
Elimination of the Affordable Care Act would lead to the loss of health insurance for 20 million people, eliminate guaranteed coverage for people with pre-existing conditions, increase prescription drug costs for seniors, weaken health care coverage for women, allow insurance companies to charge women higher premiums than men for the same coverage, deprive parents of the right to keep their children on their health insurance plans until age 26, and eliminate many other health care protections and benefits.
In stark contrast to Trump’s actions, congressional Democrats have proposed a variety of plans to increase the number of Americans with access to quality, affordable health care. Some Democratic proposals support a “public option,” in which government-run health care plans would compete with private insurance plans. Other proposals call for extending the Medicare program to all Americans (“Medicare for All”).
Each of the Democratic proposals would greatly reduce the number of uninsured individuals. In so doing, these plans would increase the overall health of the U.S. population. Many studies have demonstrated that when people have health insurance, their health improves.
Congressional Democrats want to provide quality affordable health care for all Americans. Donald Trump and his congressional Republican allies want to take away health care from millions of Americans. The contrast could not be more clear.
Dr. Larry Feldman
Trump’s budget proposal is a disgrace
When Donald Trump was campaigning to become the Republican presidential nominee, he made the following statement: “I’m not going to cut Social Security like every other Republican and I’m not going to cut Medicare or Medicaid.”
In his newly released budget, Trump proposes to cut Social Security by $25 billion, Medicare by $575 billion and Medicaid by $777 billion, over a 10-year period. The Federation of American Hospitals characterized this part of Trump’s budget as “devastating for seniors.”
In contrast to his proposed cuts for these essential programs, Trump’s budget includes $8 billion for his unnecessary border wall. Trump’s ongoing quest for this project was rejected by Congress, causing him to initiate the longest government shutdown in history, involving over 800,000 employees and affecting approximately one-fourth of government services; these services included key safety functions, such as air travel and border security. It has been estimated that this shutdown cost the US government at least $11 billion.
During the 2016 campaign, building the wall became a signature theme of Trump’s rallies, and appears to continue to be for his 2020 re-election drive. Since his promise that “Mexico will pay for the wall” has clearly been discredited, Trump is now energizing his supporters with a steady dose of fear and hatred of people (mostly women and children) fleeing extreme violence and seeking asylum in the United States.
It is a good thing the president’s budget will fall flat on its face upon arrival in the House of Representatives. Now we must look forward to September and see if Trump will cause another shutdown after Congress rejects his request for wall money, and refuses to go along with his attacks on key social programs.
Gretta Van Bree