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"Trump" Puts it into Simple Terms?

A friend recently sent me this pithy sentence, purportedly penned by Donald Trump:

‘Let me get this straight …
We’re going to be “gifted” with a health care plan we are forced to purchase and fined if we don’t, Which, purportedly covers at least ten million more people, without adding a single new doctor, but provides for 16,000 new IRS agents, written by a committee whose chairman says he doesn’t understand it, passed by a Congress that didn’t read it (but exempted themselves from it), and signed by a Dumbo President who smokes, with funding administered by a treasury chief who didn’t pay his taxes, for which we’ll be taxed for four years before any benefits take effect, by a congress which has already bankrupted Social Security and Medicare, all to be overseen by an obese surgeon general and financed by a country that’s broke!!

What the hell could possibly go wrong?’

Let’s put aside the over-use of exclamation marks for the moment, as well as arguments about whether Trump actually said it (probably not, but whatever), and dismantle this piece of garbage.

You are “gifted” with a system of roads that you are forced to pay for. You are “gifted” with the protection of a military that you are forced to pay for. Let’s not get bent out of shape about the things government requires us to pay for. It’s called living in a civilization; get used to it.

As for covering more peopleā€¦ the expansion of Medicaid alone (expanding coverage to adults with up to 133% of poverty, aka $18,310/yr) is expected to cover as many as 17 million more Americans, so I have no idea where “Trump’s” number came from. Citations would be nice. As for those 16,000 new IRS agents? According to factcheck.org, that’s complete baloney. They describe the claim as “wildly inaccurate”, stemming “from a partisan analysis based on guesswork and false assumptions, and compounded by outright misrepresentation.”

The Affordable Care Act came from the Senate Finance Committee, starting way back in 2007. The chair of that committee is Senator Max Baucus, and I cannot find a quote from him on the internet anywhere suggesting that he does not understand it (though I admit, absence of proof is not proof of absence). There’s plenty on there about him saying he didn’t read every page of it, though. But that kind of inaccuracy does not make me more interested in believing the author, even if it could be Trump.

Indeed, whether Congress read it or not, they are NOT exempt from it. In fact the law says “Members of Congress and congressional staff” will only be offered plans created by the law or offered through exchanges established by the law.

I’m not sure what exactly Obama’s smoking habit has to do with anything, apparently it means he’s a hypocrite somehow? I don’t see it. But now we’re into the personal attacks portion of Trump’s little diatribe, which, whether true or not, mean nothing about the law and are just ad hominem attacks. Presumably he thinks that the personal finances of the “treasury chief” or personal habits of the Surgeon General are relevant to health care legislation. On top of that, Trump apparently can’t be bothered to type “Secretary of the Treasury” - Britain is the country that uses “Chief” to refer to the head of the treasury (as in “Chief Secretary to the Treasury”); I guess Trump got confused.

As for Social Security being bankrupt, perhaps Trump should explain things to Forbes, who seems to think he has fallen afoul of a common logical error. By the same token, Medicare cannot go bankrupt either, but it’s worth pointing out that Medicare is in much better financial shape as a result of the Affordable Care Act. And is the United States broke? No. As Bloomberg’s David Lynch puts it, all evidence, from the rate we pay on borrowing, to tax revenue as a percentage of the economy, to the trend in prices for insuring US debt, suggests quite the opposite.

But, you know, when you’re bloviating, why let facts stand in your way? This is a nearly random collection of GOP talking points (many of which conflict with reality), rearranged into invective against the health care law (which has significant flaws, but none of which have been touched on here). Surprise! I suppose, if this is truly Trump’s work, that I should have expected as much given that he still wants to argue with Hawaii about Obama’s birth certificate.


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