Sunday, April 16, 2017

Excerpts from Krugman

Distractions.  Donald Trump is good at them.  So while he's playing chicken with North Korea and dropping bombs on ISIS, he's also going threatening to pull healthcare quickly and with considerable pain -- and try to blame Democrats for doing it.


Can Trump Take Health Care Hostage?  by Paul Krugman

"The nastiness should be obvious, but let’s spell it out. Mr. Trump is trying to bully Democrats by threatening to hurt millions of innocent bystanders — ordinary American families who have gained coverage thanks to health reform. True, Democrats care about these families — but Republicans at least pretend to care about them, too.

Why does Mr. Trump even imagine that this threat might work? Implicitly, he’s saying that hurting innocent people doesn’t bother him as much as it bothers his opponents.

Then there’s the political reality that by sabotaging Obamacare, the Trump administration would be handing Democrats a huge electoral gift. Bear in mind that the places that are already poorly served by private insurers, and would therefore be most hurt, are relatively poor, rural areas — places that overwhelmingly voted Trump last year.

Put it this way: There’s a reason an open letter to Mr. Trump urging that the cost-sharing subsidies be maintained was signed by a wide array of lobbying organizations, including very conservative groups like the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. What they understand is that sabotaging Obamacare would be a disaster for their interests."
So he's also playing chicken with Democrats.  And I think the Democrats are playing the long game, with 2018 in their sights.  But there will be collateral damage in this game.

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