Katrina Vanden Heuvel: 'This Is A Betrayal Of Trump's Own Voters'

This post appears in Repeal Obamacare, part of our ongoing series Broken Promises, a project to track the campaign promises of Donald Trump and if they hold true.
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On today's This Week with George Stephanopolous, the hot topic was Trumpcare, the Obamacare replacement that is being touted as the Best. Health. Insurance. Plan. Ever. (for CEOs and Rich People) and the answer to that pesky "let's cover everyone" Obamacare socialist plan that we all enjoyed for the last few years which led to 20 million Americans newly insured, nationwide health benefits for the disabled, elderly, poor and chronically ill and increased quality of life for millions. You know, that EVIL plan.

The panel was filled with folks from all over the political spectrum: the editor of the "National Review", Rich Lowry, the editor and publisher of "The Nation", Katrina Vanden Heuvel, Republican strategist and pollster Kristen Soltis Anderson, and Democratic strategist Jamal Simmons.

It was the standard "this plan is gonna be great!" until George got to Katrina Vanden Heuvel. She went right for it...out of the gate: Trump is going to screw over his entire base. You know, the poor, white working folks who need coverage. The coal miners with black lung, the factory workers with chronic conditions, etc.

Here is a bit of the what she had to say:

KATRINA VANDEN HEUVEL, "THE NATION": So stepping back apart from the transactional, this is a betrayal of Trump's own voters. I mean this -- if this goes through as it is, eviscerating Medicaid, cutting healthcare for the rural people who voted for him, for low-income people, for older people. So I think that's something the Democrats need to expose.

And I think, you know, we're sitting here 52 days from Trump's presidency. He's tested the values of our country, the stamina of our country. A passel of broken promises. Lots of lies. But one thing that I take heart from is that millions of people are engaged now. We talk about the resistance. We need to go from resistance to rebuilding, to recommitting, people running for office. I think healthcare becomes the issue for 2018 if we can expose the broken promises. Trump -- you showed pictures of Trump saying people are going to get better healthcare at low cost, I'm not going to cut Medicaid. Well, he's doing that.


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When talking about why they are trying to ram this through with 4:00am voting sessions, refusing to wait until the CBO has a chance to provide a score and why the GOP is flat out ignoring every major organization expressing concern (AARP, AMA, etc), this is what she had to say:

VANDEN HEUVEL: But they're ramming it through. They're worried about the CBO estimate. But they're also worried about numbers. Listen, 20 million people were not covered prior to the passage of Obamacare. People -- and I'm not being -- this is not unrealistic, people will die because of loss of coverage.

Now, the main thing to me is, just on the broken promises, President Trump promised to drain the swamp. He has filled his cabinet with billionaires and bankers. It is a government of the one percent. This healthcare, Trumpcare, is essentially a massive redistribution of wealth through tax cuts to the rich through this bill. And we're seeing in a way that Trump is normalized, he speaks to voters who disruption, and you can't blame a lot of his voters, because there is anger in this country.

I like how she segued right into broken promises, a big problem for Trump overall.

When they drifted into tax cuts, especially for wealthy, Lowry tried to gloss it over, just like Mulvaney did...Vanden Heuvel wasn't letting that happen. Here is the exchange:

STEPHANOPOULOS; Hold on a second. Let me just say this to Rich. I mean, I take your point on the repeal. But when you look at the specifics of these tax cuts, and you heard Director Mulvaney on that, he just dismissed it. But, you know, the overwhelming going to people who earn over $1 million a year. They're giving this tax break to insurance companies that is basically going to subsidize million-dollar salaries. Isn't that going to be difficult to defend?

LOWRY: I don't think they should play that game. Obama increased taxes on the rich. And they're just rolling them back. They're not going further and saying let's cut taxes for the rich more. And let's also not mistake -- it's not just a partisan talking point that Obamacare is unraveling, it's a fact. You have premiums skyrocketing. You have insurers dropping out. You had a major executive saying a couple of weeks ago that literally the Obamacare exchanges are in a death spiral.

VANDEN HEUVEL: But the buy-ins stayed stable in the last go around of sign-ups.

You know, one thing that's lost in all of this: Medicare. And Medicare and Medicaid are the two great success stories of this country. We should be building on Medicare and Medicaid, which are more efficient than private insurance, building on the cost-saving advances of Obamacare, and not rolling back, taking us back, as the Republican Party is doing. It is taking -- not making America great again.

That is the key takeaway. Trump and the GOP are not making America Great Again. They are making rich people richer, CEO's happier, cutting regulations that have kept America safe and taking us back to a terrible time of racism, classism and nationalism. And the poor will suffer. That is not what America is. That is not what it should be.

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