Sessions Helps Republican States Destroy Obamacare
A group of 20 GOP-controlled states filed a lawsuit in a Texas federal court that would invalidate the Affordable Care Act (ACA) known as Obamacare. They claim the entire Act became unconstitutional because the GOP’s Tax Cuts and Jobs Act eliminated the ACA’s penalty for failing to have health care insurance.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions has put the weight of the Justice Department on the side of these states, arguing that the provision of the ACA that requires insurance companies to cover preexisting conditions without prejudice or increased premiums.is unconstitutional.
According to the Kaiser Family Foundation: There are 52 million Americans with preexisting conditions — they would likely be uninsurable under medical underwriting practices that existed in most states before the ACA — and in 11 states, at least three in ten non-elderly adults would be denied coverage due to prior health problems. All 11 are Republican-controlled and include Kentucky and West Virginia, two of the poorest states in the nation.
Kentucky accepted Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion when a Democrat was governor. So now, deeply red Kentucky has joined 16 mostly Democratic-controlled states that are defending the ACA in the Texas litigation. Kentucky Attorney General Andy Beshear (D) gave the following explanation for his actions:
“Kentucky stands to lose a projected $49.7 billion in federal funding for our expanded Medicaid and subsidies for those on the individual market if this lawsuit moves forward.” “Hundreds of thousands of Kentuckians are at risk of losing their health care coverage, many of whom have coverage for the first time.” Beshear is concerned about losing the ACA requirement that both private insurance plans and Medicaid cover drug treatment. Opioid abuse in Kentucky caused 33.5 deaths per 100,000 residents in 2016.
The Medicaid expansion was also accepted in West Virginia where drug abuse resulted in 52 deaths per 100,000 residents in 2016, the highest in the nation. Still, its attorney general joined the states fighting to overturn the ACA, which is a major factor in dealing with the drug crisis. Clearly, he chose ideology over common sense.
This lawsuit will likely fail. But if it succeeds, the people who will suffer are mostly President Trump’s supporters.
Despots Take Power with the Big Lie
A Massachusetts high school student submitted a quote to appear under his picture in the 2018 yearbook: “Make the lie big, keep it simple, keep saying it and eventually they will believe it.” Supposedly, he didn’t realize who said it or what it meant and we don’t know why he chose it. But the reactions to this quote were swift and strong.
No wonder, it was a statement by Joseph Goebbels, Nazi minister of propaganda. He used the “big lie” to demonize Jews in the 1930s, referring to them as vermin. Unfortunately, this vicious ploy is sometimes still used today.
Eric Edelman was President George W. Bush’s ambassador to Turkey during the early days when Turkey’s all-powerful President Erdoğan’s rose to power. Referring to Trump’s use of the phrase “enemy of the people” he warned “I’ve seen this play out in Turkey, and that’s how this stuff gets normalized. And after a while, people say, OK, that’s the way it is.”
It’s doubtful that Trump even knows what Goebbels said. He probably just adopted the decade-old propaganda blueprint of the right-wing media and many ultra-conservative Republicans. They claimed President Barack Obama is a Muslim; they lied about “death panels” established by Obamacare; and they circulated wild conspiracy theories branding presidential candidate Hillary Clinton as a pedophile. Trump is simply continuing with their strategy.
After Trump defeated his primary opponents in the 2016 presidential campaign with demeaning nicknames like “lying Ted,” he used this tactic to attack Clinton. He referred to her as “Crooked Hillary” and incited his followers to chant “lock her up.” His lie was big, it was simple and he kept saying it over and over until many came to believe it.
Fact-checkers have documented 3,251 of Trump’s often repeated false or misleading statements in just 497 days. He constantly claims special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation is a “witch hunt.” He slams every negative story about him or his policies as “fake news.” And he has equated illegal immigrants to vermin. This is unhinged lying, bordering on psychopathic. But sadly, it energizes his base.
In April Sessions announced Trump’s zero-tolerance policy to prosecute all illegal immigrants who enter the U.S. at the southern border. Incarcerating immigrant adults requires separating them from their children. When confronted with the backlash from this cruel policy, Trump casually lied: “I hate the children being taken away. The Democrats have to change their law. That’s their law.”
Seriously, what kind of sick mind authorizes an inhumane practice, claims he hates it and then blames it on his political opponents? Well, I’ll tell you. It’s a mind that thinks Americans should sit up at attention when he speaks – like North Koreans do when Kim Jong-un speaks. It’s a mind that thinks he is above the law and can pardon himself. And absolutely, it’s the mind of a dictator.
There has been a Trump coup in process since early 2016, aided by Russians. The GOP is now the party of Trump, under his control and doing his bidding. The critical question now is — will the voters prevent Trump and his big lies from taking control of the entire nation?