Email #100, Subject: “broken promises”?

The President stated in a mass email last week:

“Americans were promised that Obamacare would bring down healthcare costs — that promise was broken. Americans were promised they could keep their healthcare plans under Obamacare – that promise was broken. Americans were promised that Obamacare would not raise taxes on the middle-class – that promise was broken.”

I am startled then that the new American Health Care Act breaks so many of President Trump’s own promises.

He promised that the new health care plan would get “insurance for everybody” and with “much lower deductibles.”

He promised: “The way to make health insurance available to everyone is to lower the cost of health insurance, and that is what we are going to do.”

He promised: “And I’m not going to cut Medicare or Medicaid.”

He promised he would give governors “the resources and flexibility they need with Medicaid to make sure no one is left out.”

He promised: “Everybody’s got to be covered. This is an un-Republican thing for me to say … I am going to take care of everybody. I don’t care if it costs me votes or not. Everybody’s going to be taken care of much better than they’re taken care of now. … The government’s gonna pay for it.”

But the American Health Care Act doesn’t cover everyone. It doesn’t even cover everyone who currently has insurance under the ACA. The Congressional Budget Office says 14 million people will lose their insurance next year if the ACA is replaced by this bill. 24 million will lose their insurance over the next ten years.

The American Health Care Act doesn’t include enough funding for those forced into its high risk pools and so the government isn’t “gonna pay for it.”

The American Health Care Act cuts Medicaid by eliminating the entire ACA expansion. States will have fewer “resources” and so far less “flexibility.”

The American Health Care Act raises deductibles on the sick and elderly, patients who under the ACA can’t be charged more than three times more than other patients. But new the bill allows insurance companies to charge five times more.

Given these broken promises, how can you continue to criticize Obamacare but ignore all of the flaws and broken promises contained in your own party’s replacement bill?

Author: Chris Gavaler

Chris Gavaler is an associate professor at W&L University, comics editor of Shenandoah, and series editor of Bloomsbury Critical Guides in Comics Studies. He has published two novels: School for Tricksters (SMU 2011) and Pretend I’m Not Here (HarperCollins 2002); and six books of scholarship: On the Origin of Superheroes (Iowa 2015), Superhero Comics (Bloomsbury 2017), Superhero Thought Experiments (with Nathaniel Goldberg, Iowa 2019), Revising Fiction, Fact, and Faith (with Nathaniel Goldberg, Routledge 2020), Creating Comics (with Leigh Ann Beavers, Bloomsbury 2021), and The Comics Form (Bloomsbury forthcoming). His visual work appears in Ilanot Review, North American Review, Aquifer, and other journals.

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