Shall we skip all the fake news and go straight to the Senate healthcare–and-by-the-way-big-tax-cut–bill? Will Trump sign this bill, even though it is probably just as “mean” as Paul Ryan’s House bill? Trump managed to appeal in 2016 to both the pro-oligarchy voters and the pro-ochlocracy (endless demands from the plebes) voters. Now he will have to choose. Master brander that he is, he will try to distract and evade blame no matter what, but the McConnellCare bill guts Medicaid in the name of freedom. The struggling Trump voters, and even relatively well-off Trump voters, who think Medicaid only benefits THOSE people are in for a surprise. Maybe not right away, McConnell is figuring not on his watch, but sooner than many voters think, they are going to find their parents kicked out of nursing homes and into their spare rooms, or worse. Will Trump realize before he signs a bill that presidents do get blamed for the consequences of their actions? (Not to mention stuff that they really shouldn’t get blamed for.)
Republicans have persuaded millions of fairly prosperous but more-insecure-than-they-may-know voters that the real governmental problem is “ochlocracy,” or never-ending-demands from the masses of “other” and undeserving people. In fact, the US stands alone among advanced economies in its stingy-and-inefficient-at-the-same-time healthcare system. A universal risk pool could really cut down on overhead costs, but we just aren’t ready to go there yet. Obamacare took several right-of-center (Heritage Foundation before Jim DeMint) ideas and some technocratic ideas and made giant steps toward access to health care, but did not create a robust public option, let alone move toward a Medicare-for-all system. Now the Republicans are on the verge of a huge cutback of healthcare access, and at the same time a huge tax cut for the wealthy.
If you believe we do not have enough inequality of wealth and opportunity, McConnell and Ryan are your guys. If you thought Trump would usher in a golden age of terrific healthcare for everybody, you may be out of luck. Ciao ciao sayonara ochlocracy, hello even-more-rock-solid oligarchy. And Mr. Trump, will he be blamed? I thought he was toast when he disrespected POW John McCain, so what do I know? Prince Harry may say nobody wants to be king, but he doesn’t know our Trump.