Trump’s health care talk is delusional

Other Republicans have moved on, but because our man-baby president is too immature to admit defeat on health care, he keeps saying he’s going to “get a deal.”

His newest gimmick is threatening to torpedo Obamacare by cutting off the subsidies that insurers depend on to offer discounted health plans to some of the poorest customers on the ACA exchange.

Chuck Schumer “should be calling me and begging me to help him save Obamacare, along with Nancy Pelosi,” he told the Wall Street Journal.

This is bullshit on so many levels.

  1. So now he wants to “save” Obamacare? How? By doing all the things Democrats have wanted to do? By encouraging the 19 states that have not expanded Medicaid to do so? By bolstering enrollment efforts and putting more pressure (including through increased fines) on young people who don’t sign up for insurance? Sounds great. Some of that doesn’t require legislative approval, but any of it that does will not get through the GOP-controlled Congress. Also, he will have to explain the betrayal to the Republican Party base. Trump is too much of a coward to do that.
  2. You want to make a deal with Dems? Then why are you still talking to the Freedom Caucus? While Trump says he wants a deal with the Dems, he is boasting about getting close to one with the Freedom Caucus nutjobs. Those two things are mutually exclusive. Moreover, there is no way that any deal supported by the Freedom Caucus can make it through the Senate. There are at least three moderate Republicans who will oppose it.
  3. The Dems have no incentive to bargain. It’s beyond clear to the public that the Republicans are to blame for the mess they’re in. Approval of the ACA is now north of 50% and a recent poll showed that over 60% of Americans say they will blame any future problems with the ACA on Trump and the GOP.

It’s Trump who is in the pickle. What’s unclear is whether he knows it or not. His repeated insistence that he can get to a “deal” may not just be bluster, it may be a sincere display of his ignorance of the issue, ala “nobody knew that health care was so complicated.”

There is no bipartisan deal that can be struck on health care because they two sides of the debate are at philosophical loggerheads. In fact, there apparently can’t even be an intra-party deal for the GOP, because there are a small number of moderates who don’t want to see benefits pared back and a small group of tea partiers who don’t want to see any benefits maintained.

Does Trump understand that?