New York Times columnist Paul Krugman argued this week that the latest legislative strategy being used by President Donald Trump, House Speaker Paul Ryan and other Republicans is to blatantly lie about the bills they are trying to pass.
In his Monday column, Krugman marvels at how the Republican Party brazenly lied about the so-called Trumpcare plan that was recently passed by the U.S. House of Representatives.
“It’s a miserably designed law, full of unintended consequences. It’s a moral disaster, snatching health care from tens of millions mainly to give the very wealthy a near-trillion-dollar tax cut,” Krugman writes. “What really stands out, however, is the Orwell-level dishonesty of the whole effort. As far as I can tell, every word Republicans, from Trump on down, have said about their bill — about why they want to replace Obamacare, about what their replacement would do, and about how it would work — is a lie, including ‘a,’ ‘and’ and ‘the.'”
Krugman points out that Republicans pushed through the legislation without waiting for a Congressional Budget Office score, and forgetting that they had accused Democrats of rushing through the Obamacare law.
Even without a proper analysis, however, it’s clear that Trumpcare breaks every promise Republicans ever made about health. Deductibles will rise, not fall, as insurers are set free to offer lower-quality coverage. Premiums may fall for a handful of young, healthy, affluent people, but will rise and in many cases soar for those who are older (because age spreads will rise), sicker (because protection against discrimination based on medical history will be taken away), and poorer (because subsidies will go down).
Many people with pre-existing conditions will find insurance either completely unavailable or totally out of their financial reach.
And Medicaid will be cut back, with the damage worsening over time.
But Krugman says that the most astounding part of the dishonesty “is not just to realize that Republicans are breaking their promises, but to realize that they are doing so with intent.”
“This is an act of deliberate betrayal: Everything about Trumpcare is specifically designed to do exactly the opposite of what Trump, Paul Ryan and other Republicans said it would,” Krugman observes. “What just happened on health care shouldn’t be treated as just another case of cynical political deal making. This was a Freedom is Slavery, Ignorance is Strength moment. And it may be the shape of things to come.”