Donald J. Trump fired up his Twitter gun in Paris and declared he has “pen in hand” and will sign the U.S. Senate Republican health care bill when it reaches his desk.
OK. That’s it.
Others have commented on this, but I’ll weigh in, too. Have you noticed that the president never — not a single time — discusses the guts of the GOP plan to repeal the Affordable Care Act? He doesn’t ever discuss the Medicaid cuts, or the Congressional Budget Office assessment, or precisely how — in his view — the ACA is failing. He just says it is and then goes on to the next thing, whatever that may be.
The notion that the president operates in a detail-free zone on legislation is no surprise or any big scoop. I get that.
One might think, though, that the titular head of a major political party would at least have a working knowledge of his party’s legislative priorities. Repealing the ACA and replacing it with whatever the Republican majorities in Congress come up with seems to fall into the category of “major legislative priority.”
Donald Trump doesn’t bother to acquaint himself with the nuts and bolts. Nor does he exhibit a scintilla of interest in obtaining any particular knowledge of anything.
Have you noticed how often he inserts the words “I think … ” into his pronouncements? If he thinks it, then that’s all we need to know or hear from the president.
Senate Republican leaders are trying to amend the abomination they have presented to their members. They’re maintaining some taxes that the ACA contains to deal with opioid addiction. The replacement bill still reduces Medicaid allotments by about $800 billion over the next decade, leaving about 15 million American uninsured by 2026.
Does the president endorse those specific elements? If so, could he explain to Americans why he endorses it?
Probably not. That will require some study and analysis. Donald Trump is a big-picture kind of guy. He’s too busy “making America great again.”
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