Well, isn’t this special. The New York Times thinks there’s going to be a Trumpcare plan. Really. Margot Sanger-Katz writes, “We don’t know what will emerge as President Trump’s plan to replace Obamacare, which he has promised to unveil immediately after the 2020 elections.”
That bit of fantasy aside, it’s not a bad article for describing the ideas that Trump has gravitated to in all the not-plans Republicans have come up with, most of which involve breaking Trump’s old campaign promise not to cut Medicaid. Block grants loom large here, including the “plan” Sens. Bill Cassidy (R-LA) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC) came up with in 2017 after Trumpcare failed in the Senate. Trump may or may not have tapped Cassidy, along with Sens. Rick Scott (the Florida Medicare-fraudster) and John Barrasso from Wyoming to put his “plan” together. They’ve all got another story, pointing to the things they suddenly want to talk about, such as prescription drug costs.
Anyway, Trump really likes the whole idea of block-granting Medicaid, a proposal that “did not have enough support in Congress to advance to a vote,” Sanger-Katz points out. That would give states the opportunity to pretty much do as they like with Medicaid, including picking and choosing what parts of consumer protections they’d like to enforce. Such as whether people with pre-existing conditions could be denied, for a start.
When Trump says Republicans “will take care of preexisting conditions better than they’re taken care of now,” he must be talking about taking care of insurance companies. Because nothing Republicans have talked about doing yet protects actual people. That includes Trump’s own junk insurance plans that he’s pushed through in rules, one of which has been blocked by a federal court.
Of course, Trump isn’t going to have a plan for after 2020. Even if the courts do his bidding and completely dismantle the Affordable Care Act. That’s a problem for all of us, but in the immediate term it’s a helluva lot more of a problem for Republicans looking to be re-elected next year.