Honored Social Butterfly

Peak Absurdity

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GOP Lies About Pre-Existing Conditions May Have Reached Peak Absurdity


Republicans are desperate to fool the public about what they did ― and would still do.


President Donald Trump on Wednesday sent out another tweet on health care. “Republicans will totally protect people with Pre-Existing Conditions,” he wrote. “Democrats will not!”


By now, the fundamental dishonesty of that statement shouldn’t require explanation. 


Anybody even dimly aware of recent history ― specifically, the part where Democrats passed the Affordable Care Act, only to have Republicans spend eight years trying to repeal it ― should recognize the claim as a lie.


And anybody unfamiliar with that saga could simply have paid attention this week, when the Trump administration announced a major reinterpretation of the Affordable Care Act’s insurance rules.


The change means that states can undermine some of the law’s key provisions that help people with serious medical problems.


It is only the latest example of Trump trying to accomplish through regulation what Republicans have been unable, so far, to achieve through legislation.


On Wednesday, with the tweet and later a speech in Wisconsin, Trump pretended none of this was happening. Just like he has before. Just like he is almost certain to do again on Thursday, when he gives a speech at the Department of Health and Human Services.


And it’s not only Trump engaging in this sort of deception.


Republicans all over the country are promising voters that they, too, are committed to protecting people with pre-existing conditions, even though nearly all of them have records of voting for efforts to roll back those protections (if they have served in Congress) or of filing lawsuits that would achieve the same goal (if they hold office at the state level).


All of this should sound very familiar. Last year, when Republicans first took power, they were equally insistent about their intentions to protect people with pre-existing conditions. In reality, their proposals would have taken away existing protections without providing a comparable replacement.


If Republicans get through the midterm elections with their congressional majorities intact, next year could play out in the very same way. GOP leaders have already made clear that they will try once again to repeal the health care law if they can.


That is one reason GOP duplicity matters. It is about what party members will do in the future, and not simply what they’ve done in the past.


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