Trump Wants To Run On Healthcare In 2020. Well, If He Insists!

It's been a bit over two months since the last time Donald Trump said he was fixing to roll out a new healthcare plan, which went nowhere, so -- right on schedule! -- Trump is talking about rolling out a new healthcare plan that will also go nowhere, because he's just that smart. You see, Trump figures that since a lot of Democrats got elected to the House last year on a promise of protecting healthcare from his administration, it only makes sense to offer a real alternative to Obamacare, one even better than Medicare For All, by promising even more impressively positive adjectives without getting bogged down in details.

Still, maybe this time it'll be different, since Trump took at least one very definite action on health last week. Get ready for the very new, surprisingly cost-effective Don't Cough Around MeCare plan.

During his ABC News interview with George Stephanopoulos, Trump teased his new healthcare initiative, or at least the idea of promising something, because he promised it in 2016 and the rubes bought it, didn't they? As usual, he insisted "Obamacare has been a disaster," and that he has a plan for better care at lower costs, but you just can't see it yet.

You'll see that in a month when we introduce it. We're going to have a plan. That's subject to winning the House, Senate and presidency, which hopefully we'll win all three. We'll have phenomenal health care.

He's clearly learned a lot from the 2017 healthcare fight, which ultimately came down to a failed attempt to repeal much of the Affordable Care Act without offering any kind of replacement. Now, instead of insisting his nonexistent plan would be "terrific," he says it will be "phenomenal," and that is clearly much better. Next, the plan is expected to be upgraded to "unbelievably excellent, like you would not even believe how excellent."

Democrats seem to think the Trump administration's support for that dumb lawsuit to completely throw out the ACA will somehow not become popular with voters, no matter what impressive new adjectives Trump deploys as a replacement for health insurance. As the New York Timesreports,

Over the weekend, 140 House Democrats, more than half of the party's caucus, held events or online town halls to talk about health care, their largest coordinated action in districts since winning the majority [...]

"The Trump administration is currently suing to eliminate the law that guarantees health care coverage for Americans with pre-existing conditions," said Representative Ted Lieu of California, a leader of the Democratic committee that organized the weekend activities. "That action speaks for itself. If Trump wants to be serious about health care, he needs to stop the lawsuit and his other actions that seek to sabotage the A.C.A."

Not surprisingly, a lot of Republicans look at the 2018 midterms and aren't really all that hot on the idea of running against Democrats on healthcare, especially given the polling advantages Dems have on the issue. An April poll from the Associated Press and the NORC Center for Public Affairs Research found 40 percent of voters trust Democrats on healthcare, but just 23 percent trust Republicans -- lower than the 25 percent who don't trust either party.

In the same poll, 42 percent of Americans said they support Obamacare, while 31 percent oppose it -- and on specific parts of the ACA, like protections for preexisting conditions and keeping children on their parents' health insurance until they're 26, support fell just short of two thirds of those polled (although people don't like the mandate, because how does "insurance" even work?).

And if Trump wants to scare people about single payer, fine, go for it -- there again, 42 percent favor it, with 31 percent against and 25 percent undecided. Support for a public option was even higher, at 53 percent for, and only 17 percent against.

We had a nice laugh over this bit from the Times story: If healthcare doesn't look like a winning issue for Republicans, how about they run in 2020 on something Americans REALLY like about the GOP?

Given the Democratic advantage, many Republicans say they should not focus their energy on health care but instead emphasize immigration and other issues where they are stronger.

Sounds like a good fight to have, since a new Fox News poll finds 50 percent of voters say enforcement of immigration laws has "gone too far," while only 24 percent say it hasn't gone far enough, and those people have already gotten tickets to Trump's next rally.

Still, Trump and some of his advisers think he needs to at the very least put out some kind of definite healthcare proposal to run on, so the GOP doesn't hand the healthcare issue to Democrats. The downside of getting specific, of course, is that it's likely to suck in some very specific, demonstrable ways, so get ready for a year and a half of very vague promises and cries of "socialism," and by fall 2020, the full Trump healthcare plan will be unveiled: "OMG CARAVANS OF RAPISTS!"

But won't you just love watching Elizabeth Warren debating Donald Trump on healthcare policy?

[NYT / AP-NORC poll / Bloomberg]

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Doktor Zoom

Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.


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