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‘Insult to every family’: Experts say Trump’s bogus healthcare ‘plan’ doesn’t actually do anything

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Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump kisses a baby at a campaign rally in Colorado Springs, Colorado, U.S., July 29, 2016. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri
When President Donald Trump finally unveiled his long-anticipated health care “plan” on Thursday, it turned out to be comprised of only two toothless executive orders. Journalists and politicians alike were quick to point out that the pair of orders did not actually compromise a “plan” at all, as they were merely “requests for legislation.”

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Trump, who repeatedly failed to repeal the Affordable Care Act despite years of promises, claimed on Thursday that “Obamacare is no longer Obamacare” after Republicans tossed the individual mandate penalty. He made the comment while rolling out his “America First Health Plan,” which The Washington Post noted was not actually a “plan.”

“We’ve really become the health-care party — the Republican Party,” Trump claimed during a speech in Charlotte, N.C. “But nobody knows it.”

The first executive order declares protecting patients with pre-existing conditions to be the “policy” of the U.S. But protections for pre-existing conditions were previously enshrined into law through Obamacare, legislation which the Trump administration is currently pushing to overturn in court after failing to do so in Congress.

“The historic action I’m taking today includes the first-ever executive order to affirm it is the official policy of the United States government to protect patients with pre-existing conditions,” Trump claimed on Thursday, despite trying to overturn the law which actually established those protections.

“We’re making that official. We’re putting it down in a stamp,” Trump added, even though it was already “official” in a law which has been on the books for a decade.

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Julie Rovner, the chief Washington correspondent at Kaiser Health News, pointed out that Trump’s executive order would do nothing if the Obamacare lawsuit backed by his administration succeeds.

“This. Requires. Legislation,” she tweeted.

The health care news outlet Stat News described Trump’s speech as “empty rhetoric,” which would neither “improve the quality of Americans’ health care or lower its cost.”

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“The speech and executive order stood as a tacit admission that Trump had failed to keep his 2016 promise to replace his predecessor’s signature achievement with a conservative alternative,” Washington Post reporter Toluse Olorunnipa wrote. “Unable to repeal the law, Trump appeared open to simply rebranding it.”

The other executive order directs Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar to explore ways to address surprise medical bills if Congress does not act by Jan. 1.

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Stat News reporter Lev Facher noted that the order was merely a “plan to work with Congress” on the issue.

“I am not sure how/why these are executive orders,” New York Times health care reporter Margot Sanger-Katz tweeted. “They are requests for legislation.”

Along with the executive orders, Trump promised millions of seniors would receive $200 coupons toward the cost of prescription drugs. Trump claimed that the coupons would be sent to 33 million Medicare beneficiaries “in the coming weeks,” but the White House has not released any details about the president’s plan. It is unclear how it would actually be funded — or if it is even legal.

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A White House official told Bloomberg News that the money would come from a “demonstration program Medicare uses to test new payment systems” and be offset by savings from price cuts Trump ordered for medications bought by the Medicare program. Stat News noted that the order has not been implemented, and the savings “do not currently exist.”

A top pharmaceutical lobby group told Bloomberg that it had already rejected the administration’s request to provide discount cards for Medicare patients, and drug companies are not aware of Trump’s plan for funding the program.

Stat News described the “plan,” which would come with a $6.6 billion price tag, as a “political ploy to curry favor with seniors.” Democratic strategist Adam Parkhomenko argued that it was a straight up “bribe” for seniors, a key Republican voting bloc.

Trump also teased a comprehensive health care reform plan, though he offered no actual details.

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Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said Trump’s “bogus executive order” was not “worth the paper it’s signed on.”

“It is an insult to every family with someone with a pre-existing condition that President Trump thinks he can get away with this farce while he races a justice onto the Supreme Court to strike down the life-saving protections enshrined into law by the Affordable Care Act,” she said in a statement. “For his entire administration, President Trump has used every tool and every chance he gets to weaken or rip away protections for people with pre-existing conditions. If President Trump cared at all about people with pre-existing conditions, he would drop his lawsuit to overturn the Affordable Care Act in the middle of a pandemic.”

“President Trump is lying to you about his ‘executive order,'” Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y. added. “Protections for pre-existing conditions are the law. The threat to these protections is from President Trump and the Republicans suing to end them.”


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2020 Election

Here’s how The Christian Post ‘sold its soul’ to Trump — according to its former politics editor

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Political analyst Napp Nazworth watched as The Christian Post (CP) made its "gradual descent" from being anti-Trump to pro-Trump, often questioning whether or not he should jump ship from the publication. But what happened on Dec. 23, 2019, made the decision painfully clear.

"I was told by Michelle Vu, my boss at The Christian Post, to publish a pro-Trump op-ed as an editorial, meaning it was to express the position of the media organization," Nazworth wrote at Arc Digital. "'It can’t be an editorial,' I explained, 'because I don’t agree with it and I’m an editor.' Vu said she would call me back."

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Republicans grow increasingly nervous over potential loss of Senate seat GOP has controlled for decades

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Rep. Roger Marshall (R-KS) wants to fill the state's open Senate seat that been in the hands of Republicans since 1932, and was once widely expected to do so, but thanks to the economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic, the seat is more likely to be a toss-up, according to the Washington Post's Annie Gowen.

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‘Beyond cringe’: Rudy Giuliani buried in ridicule after Borat catches him with hands down his pants

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Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani, who has been peddling videos of Hunter Biden taking drugs to right-wing tabloids, is now dealing with his own bombshell video footage.

The Guardian reported on Wednesday that “the former New York mayor and current personal attorney to Donald Trump is seen reaching into his trousers and apparently touching his genitals while reclining on a bed in the presence of" 24-year-old actress Maria Bakalova after being caught in a sting operation for Sacha Baron Cohen's new "Borat" film.

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