When Donald Trump gets on a roll with the lying, like he did Tuesday night in the town hall on ABC News, well, it's like CNN reported Daniel Dale says: "just a firehose of lying, again." The well of lies is just so, so deep. And so transparent. Like this one: a "new healthcare [plan]. […] I have it all ready."
Stephanopoulos did do a good job there, as did Prof.
Alycee Block, Ellesia Blaque who posed the question about health care. She was born with sarcoidosis and said that "from the day I was born, I was considered uninsurable. That disease started in my skin, moved to my eyes, into my optic nerves, and when I went to graduate school, into my brain." She's excelled in life in spite of that, but pays "almost $7,000 a year in addition to the co-pay." She wanted to know "what it is that you're going to do to assure that people like me who work hard, we do everything we're supposed to do can stay insured?"
The firehose opened full throttle: "We are not going to hurt anything having to do with preexisting conditions. We're not going to hurt preexisting conditions. And, in fact, just the opposite." And then a lot of word salad about socialized medicine and Obama and Medicare for All. "What we’re doing is, we’re going to be doing a healthcare plan—preexisting, protecting people with preexisting conditions—as an example, yourself, it sounds like that’s exactly perfect. That’s exactly what we’re talking about. We’re going to be doing a healthcare plan very strongly and protect people with preexisting conditions."
It was all too much for Stephanopoulos, who detailed some of the facts about Obamacare like the protections for people with preexisting conditions and the part about how Trump fought to repeal it and is arguing at the "Supreme Court right now to strike it down, that would do away with preexisting conditions."
"No," Trump said. It’s "[s]o that we can do new health care." Stephanopoulos then detailed just a few of the countless times Trump has promised a new plan. June of last year, when it was two weeks away. This summer, when it was just weeks away. An executive order on preexisting conditions that was in the works. And then this. Just this.
TRUMP: I have it all ready. I have it all ready.
STEPHANOPOULOS: But it’s … you’ve been trying to strike down preexisting conditions …
TRUMP: It doesn't matter. I have it all ready, and it's a much better plan for you, and it's a much better plan.
STEPHANOPOULOS: What is it?
"It doesn't matter. I have it all ready," he says. He doesn't have it all ready. He's trying to get the Supreme Court to destroy the Affordable Care Act (ACA), which is so deeply interwoven into the nation's healthcare system now that destroying the ACA would mean tearing down huge chunks of the entire system, from Medicare financing to Medicaid—the lifeline for millions who've lost their jobs and insurance in Trump's pandemic. Everything Trump and Republicans have done legislatively and with executive actions has been to take basic protections away or to put them financially out of reach for millions of Americans.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi responded on MSNBC Wednesday morning and got it absolutely right: "We're supposed to be crushing the virus right now so we can open up our economy, open up our schools safely. Instead the president is crushing the Affordable Care Act. He's crushing it in his misrepresentations in the court of public opinion, in the Supreme Court of the United States," she said. "This is very dangerous to not only the health of the American people, but the financial security of America's families."
This is going to be another healthcare election. It has to be. We're in the middle of a pandemic and the president is trying to take health care away from millions of people. What else could it be? The only people who could possibly still be buying Trump's lies have their own preexisting condition: "herd mentality."