Friday, March 17, 2017

Who's the Most Heartless of These Heartless Bastards?

During the campaign, Donald Trump offered a populist message that resonated with just enough people to get him elected. He promised he wouldn't cut Medicaid. He told people their health insurance would be better and more affordable. Well, it turns out he either lied or changed his mind about improving people's lives, because his proposed health plan and budget would devastate millions of people while benefitting the wealthiest Americans.

According to the Congressional Budget Office, his health plan would leave 14 million more people without health insurance in 2018, which will rise to 21 million in 2020 and then 24 million in 2026. But his billionaire friend need not worry. Repeal of taxes in the Affordable Care Act will largely be passed on to the wealthiest Americans. People in the top 0.1 percent (earning at least $3.9 million per year) will get a tax cut of $207,000.

After Trump got elected, I told friends I was worried about a lot of things. But my overarching concern was that Trump and the people he was surrounding himself with simply don't care about other people (or at least haven't demonstrated any interest in improving the lives of average citizens).

That matters, because you have to be pretty heartless to support these devastating policies and budget cuts. In addition to taking away health coverage from millions of people, Trump and his team are pushing to cut funding for medical research, mental health care, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, energy assistance for poor families, and after-school programs -- and that's just a few examples. It also eliminates Community Development Block Grants, which help fund programs like Meals on Wheels, a program that provides meals to 2.4 million poor senior citizens.

Let's play a game called "Which Bastard is Most Heartless?"

Nominee: Paul Ryan, Speaker of the House
Nominated for: Says taking away people's health care is an "act of mercy." I'll let Representative Joe Kennedy III respond:

Nominee: Mick Mulvaney, Office of Management and Budget
Nominated for: Says there's no evidence that providing food to poor children helps them do better in school.

Nominee: Tom Price, Secretary of Health and Human Services
Nominated for: Tells a cancer survivor who's alive because of Medicaid expansion that he should settle for a small tax cut instead of getting heath coverage.

Nominee: Donald Trump, President of the United States
Nominated for: Lies, broken promises, and actions that hurt poor people and make millionaires and billionaires richer. Do you remember his campaign promise to not cut Medicaid? What about these assurances? "We're going to have insurance for everybody." "I am going to take care of everybody. Everybody's going to be taken care of much better than they're taking care of now.""It'll be another plan. But they'll be beautifully covered."
Read "President Trump's False Promises on Healthcare," from The Hill, March 2, 2017.

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