The Lies of Donald Trump: The Affordable Care Act Is Failing

Donald Trump isn’t the only Republican trumpeting that the Affordable Care Act is faling. But he is the only U.S. President who tweets the claim on a regular basis. Indeed, the claimed “failure” of Obamacare is a primary excuse for the various Republican efforts to repeal the ACA, or replace the ACA. Embarrassingly for Republicans, the most recent report from the Department of Health and Social Services concludes it is working pretty well. Oops.

No one, including former President Barack Obama, claims the ACA is without flaws. But what’s astonishing is that it continues to work pretty well despite the Republicans’ obsessive and unrelenting efforts to sabotage it.

The U.S. Department of Health and Social Services, run by ACA-loathing Tom Price, issued a report last week concluding the ACA’s risk-management provisions that are the key programs in the ACA are “working as intended,” protecting insurers from unexpectedly large risks and moderating premiums for consumers. That’s right: a federal agency run by a Trump appointee has concluded ACA is working pretty well. Wow, look at the Republican heads spinning.

And then the Kaiser Founation, arguably the most knowledgeable health care NGO, issued a report that confirms that the ACA is not collapsing and is on track for it’s best year.  Not collapsing? Working as intended? You can practically hear the hand slapping foreheads among the GOP-controll Congress. 

Insurers of all kinds hate uncertainty. They hate unpredictability because premiums are based on known risks. The attempts to repeal, or repeal and replace, and certainly the efforts to bad mouth the ACA enough to create an artificial urgency for action; it all makes the health insurers’ job that much harder. The Kaiser Foundation report also mentions that mixed signals from the Administration and Congress as having “the potential to destabilize the markets”

And yet both DHSS and Kaiser conclude it’s working pretty well.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s wretched excuse for immediate action is a lie.

You sure wouldn’t think it was working listening to the President, or reading his petulant Tweets. But it’s all Chicken Little posturings.

The miserable excuse for legislators in the U.S. House have voted to repeal the Affordable Care Act more than 50 times now. They have maneuvered themselves into a position where they cannot begin to be objective about the issue. It’s Obamacare, after all, and therefore anathema. Logic does not enter into it.

But it does make you wonder how the Affordable Care Act would be working if it had been given a fair shot, if weaknesses had been timely and sensibly addressed, rather than accused of being “Unclean,” and turned away like a Middle Ages leper. It makes you wonder what would happen if the Republican-controlled Congress cared more about health care and less about politics.