Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Donald Trump’s Big Health-Care Lie Puts Barack Obama’s Weak One to Shame

Daily Beast   Let’s first travel back in time to 2013, when Barack Obama was pilloried for saying “if you like your health-care plan, you can keep it.” Remember the furor over that?

Because he said it a lot, and it turned out to be untrue. And the right went absolutely ballistic—not only was Obama a bald-faced liar, but it showed what a shell game the whole health-care overhaul law was. It turned out that only 4 million people out of a total of more than 250 million insured lost their health-care plans, but still, 4 million is 4 million flesh-and-blood Americans. Obama’s lie was, as you might recall, named the “Lie of the Year” for 2013 by Politifact, which counted 37 separate times Obama had said with no caveats that everyone would be able to keep their coverage.

Well, I don’t know exactly how many times candidate and President Donald Trump has said things like everyone will have coverage under his Obamacare replacement. But it was a lot. His plan would be “something terrific.” “I am going to take care of everybody.” “Everybody’s going to be taken care of much better than they’re taken care of now.” It must be dozens. And that’s on top of the dozens of denunciations of Obamacare as a “disaster” that wasn’t helping people.

Well, now we have the Congressional Budget Office’s assessment of the Republican replacement plan (which technically burst from the womb as Ryancare rather than Trumpcare, thought the White House pledged late last week to move heaven and earth to pass it even as it remains the one thing that Trump emphatically doesn’t want to smack his name on). And what does the CBO have to say about this terrific plan that’s going to take care of everybody and rescue America from the disaster?

It has to say: 14 million more uninsured by 2018. That’s a year and change! Fourteen million people thrown back to the wolves. And more—another 7 million by 2020, and another 3 million by 2024, making for a grand total of 24 million people who currently have health coverage thrown off the rolls as a direct result of this bill, the Republican “replacement” bill.

If Obama got Lie of the Year over 4 million, what does Trump get over 24 million? True, the competition for lies is a lot more robust than it was in that now innocent-seeming year of 2013. But surely this deserves some kind of prize.

Oh, there’s more. Remember all those times you heard Trump trash the premium increases under Obamacare? Not, I will note, without justification. Premium increases and high deductibles have been a bane of Obamacare for many consumers.

But what does the CBO say TRyancare will accomplish on the premium front? It projects increases in 2018 and 2019 of about 15 or 20 percent higher than under Obamacare.

Also, the CBO says that the Republican plan really socks it to a group that it’s never politically very wise to sock it to. I refer you to Table Four on page 34 of this .pdf, listing the CBO’s estimated premium increases for 21-, 40-, and 64-year-olds at different income levels under the GOP plan. The most striking thing is this: Under current law (Obamacare), a 64-year-old earning $26,500 a year pays a net premium (after the tax credit) of $1,700. RyanTrumpCare whacks away at that earner’s tax credit such that he is left paying a whopping $14,600.[....]

Because there are two styles of duplicity afoot in Washington right now. There’s Trumpian dishonesty, which consists of his plain-faced lies about his behavior and his evidence-free outbursts like the one he directed at Obama two weekends ago.

Then there’s your more standard Republican duplicity, like promises that health care would be easy to bring to everyone if we just got government out of the way and let the market work its wondrous magic. That may be how it works in Ayn Rand novels, but that isn’t how it works in the actual world. In the actual world, anyone who’s given the matter five minutes of honest thought (emphasis on honest thought) comes to the obvious realization that the only thing that can bring premiums and deductibles down is for more healthy people to have to buy insurance.[...]

And from there, if you’re being honest, you then realize that the only entity that can make people buy insurance is the federal government; and that you have to give them an incentive to do so, which means subsidies. And all that spells Obamacare. It’s complicated and flawed, sure. But any attempt to do it any other way will wind up where the CBO just tossed RyanTrumpCare: in the garbage, where it belongs.
Paul Ryan must know this deep down. Or no—lately we’ve begun to realize that maybe he doesn’t, right? That jaw-dropping line of his about it being the “fatal conceit” of Obamacare that the healthy pay for the sick revealed, as many have by now observed, that he doesn’t seem to understand what insurance even is.
And Donald Trump clearly doesn’t know it. That line of his a couple weeks ago, equally jaw-dropping, that “nobody knew that health care could be so complicated” was a howler. No, Donald. We all knew. It’s just that you didn’t, because while you were out there on the stump lying repeatedly about giving people the best possible coverage, you weren’t bothering to actually learn anything about the topic. Now you have to.[...]


  1. New name for this blog: Daas Politics and Torah - Issues of Jewish and American Identity


  2. If you changed the name, I wouldn't have a problem with it. It can serve as an aggregator of the top Trump critiques from the Washington Post and the Huffington Post.

    The problem is that this blog is called plain "Daas Torah", and as of late, it hasn't staying true to its genre.

  3. This article attempts to put Mr. Trump's veracity-free statements (I like to avoid the word "lie") in context.

    In this case, Mr. Trump's VF statements are compared to statements made by his immediate predecessor, Mr. Obama.

    One might conclude that the scale of Mr. Trump's use of VF statements might actually destabilize his presidency.

    I don't think that is the case. It only seems that the scale is an order of difference greater because much of the mainstream press tends to let slide much of the VF statements of Democratic presidents.

    I have another reason I don't think Mr. Trump's presidency will be harmed by large scale use of VF statements. And that is because, historically, it's never happened that a presidency collapsed under the weight of VF statements.

    During the Viet Nam War, successive administrations made VF statements on a massive scale. This led to great societal unrest. Yet it didn't derail any presidencies. True, President Lyndon Johnson chose not to run for a second full term because of his policies on the war. But that was a decision he made after consideration, but not under duress. President Richard Nixon was forced from office because of a VF statement, but the purpose of the statement was to cover-up a crime, not advance a policy.

    In conclusion. VF statements are part and parcel of presidential policy promulgation. The Clintons ramped up the use of VF statements. Mr. Trump has wrapped VF-meter needle around the stop with his use of veracity-free statements.

  4. With the permission of the Rav, may I respond?

    Patterns, my friend, patterns. Rabbi Eidensohn is attempting, I believe, to demonstrate the patterns of prevarication among particular people in positions of power.

    Rosh Yeshivas. Presidents. His thesis is that lies sow distrust and can weaken societies to the point where communities can become vulnerable.

  5. I get that you have a some kind obsession with Trump, but posting these absurd articles does little to further your cause.

    1. Comparing the result of lying about the result of an actual law and lying about the alleged result from a proposed law is just silly. There has been no lie yet. You would need to wait until the law has passed.

    2. "14 million more uninsured by 2018. That’s a year and change! Fourteen million people thrown back to the wolves." Speaking of lies..This one is a total doozy. The CBO report clearly said that the much of the 14 million number is driven by individuals who would WILLINGLY CHOOSE TO OPT OUT once given the choice. That hardly qualifies as being thrown to the wolves.

    3. "if we just got government out of the way and let the market work its wondrous magic. That may be how it works in Ayn Rand novels, but that isn’t how it works in the actual world." Evidence?

    4. "In the actual world, anyone who’s given the matter five minutes of honest thought (emphasis on honest thought) comes to the obvious realization that the only thing that can bring premiums and deductibles down is for more healthy people to have to buy insurance" Another lie. The author is free to disagree (although he should provide some evidence) but to say that there isn't any serious thinker who doesn't believe in a mandate is simply untrue. There are numerous scholars, think tanks etc. who believe that we can lower costs of premiums by untying insurance to one's employment among a host of other ideas.

    P.S. I am a never-Trump conservative who thinks Trump's healthcare plan is garbage. That's why it drives me crazy to read articles like this which are so full of inaccuracies that it only hurts the valid criticisms of Trump's policies.

  6. not only may your respond but please write a guest post

  7. Done. Care to point out what I got wrong?

  8. the point you made about dropping out of the program - read what the article says

  9. Ok, I read it again. Here's what the article says "fourteen million people thrown back to the wolves."

    Here's what the CBO says:

    "CBO and JCT estimate that, in 2018, 14 million more people would be uninsured under the legislation than under current law. Most of that increase would stem from repealing the penalties associated with the individual mandate."

    So, no 14 million people are not being "thrown to the wolves." They are simply deciding, on their own free will, not to purchase insurance.

  10. So two thirds of the votes in the survey say these posts undermine your credibility. So what's next. Are you going to continue?

  11. Milton is correct according to the New York Times you rely on: "The number of uninsured would shoot up next year by 14 million, the
    budget office said. Most of the increase in 2018 would result from
    people choosing not to buy insurance after tax penalties for those
    without coverage are repealed" ( https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/13/us/politics/affordable-care-act-health-congressional-budget-office.html )

  12. meaning that they are not interested in dropping the insurance but it is too expensive. How is that a fix to make the insurance too expensive? that was the problem that needed to be solved in the first place!

  13. because the insurance is too expensive

  14. That may be true, but how does is make sense to make it more expensive to not have insurance? How is this solving the problem? This is not making it more affordable to get insurance, just creating a situation that it is more cost effective. If the ACA would have lowered the cost of insurance to the point where it was affordable to everyone, then everyone would get insurance. If that would be the case, then they wouldn't have had to put the penalty clause in. Also, for some people, especially young single ones, it is more cost effective to pay out-of -pocket than to purchase insurance.

  15. The question is why it impacts credibility
    Most of the claims posted on this blog are carefully documented
    No one claims the documentation is not credible
    The claim is posting critical posts about Trump makes the documented claims less credible
    Why? Some say it is boring! But boring credible posts are still credible
    Some say it indicates I am a nut But credible claims presented by a nut are still credible
    That is simply an ad hominem attack!

    Please explain how objective documentation from a wide variety of major poskim loses its credibility if a person with political views you don't like presents them!

  16. Because you were personally involved with many of the major poskim that issued the "objective documentation", your credibility in the Friedman case remains essential. That credibility has been hurt by the obsessive Trump postings, and the damage can be best summed up in a Post by Lawrence Philips:

    "However, now that you post about Trump's flaws obsessively, a couple of things have become clear.

    a. You lack objectivity. Yes Trump has many flaws, but so does every single politician. Singling out only Trump, demonstrates that you ignore the flaws of those candidates you can more easily identify with. Further, Trump has also several positive qualities. He maintains conservative values to some degree, he is a genuine ohev-Yisrael, he is a gentleman in his private dealing and so on. Ignoring his positive qualities is further proof of your lack of objectivity.

    b. You lack nuance. Yes, Trump makes many wild claims. However, this is his way of expressing himself. By taking his words literally and not in the spirit in which he intended them, that shows that you are incapable of appreciating nuance and subtlety.

    c. You are obsessive. You don't like Trump. We get that. Really. You accomplish absolutely nothing by posting this point again and again. You could spend your time much more productively by posting about subjects which are important to your constituency. Posting dozens of posts which reiterate the same point over and over, makes you a mono-maniac.

    Now back to the Friedman fiasco. If I originally took your words and
    posts at face value, I now question whether a. you were objective, b. if you did not catch subtle nuances which might impact significantly your understanding of what actually occurred. Further, if I thought originally that you were posting l'shem shamayim, now I realise that c. by nature you are obsessive, and that once a subject catches your attention you simply cannot let go."

    Mr. Philips, with great cogency, answered your question: how does objective documentation from a wide variety of major poskim loses its credibility if a person with political views you don't like presents them? The rest is mere commentary.

  17. In other word's if you can't read the documents and don't understand the halachic issues and are thus totally dependent on my description of events then you are correct
    Such a person who questions my competence solely because he doesn't like my concerns would have less belief that my description of events is accurate
    Such a person should ask a rabbi

  18. Reread my first paragraph, carefully.

  19. I recall that before the election, DT posted an article about DJT's unusual hairdo. At that time, it struck me as odd, why this was an important thing to talk about, and how it reflects on DJT's character. This was the impetus for me to suspect that that this was a visceral issue for DT, not a rational one.

    What originally attracted me to this blog was the Torah related content. If DT wants to change his focus of attention, then I suggest he changes the name (or open a new blog), and call it something like "Lying by those in authority", "Abuse of power",

    If the name remains the same, but the content changes, I regard it as a sort of "bait and switch".

  20. No. They are struggling to pay the insurance now because otherwise they pay penalties. Those dropping it will do so since they won't be penalized anymore.

  21. At the end of Megillas Esther, it says that that Mordechai was accepted by the majority of his brethren. Implying he had detractors. People who said, "Why are you hanging out at the palace, why are you taking to the streets, come back to the Bais Medrash!" Yet every letter of the very Megila that describes Mordechai's activity teaches us Torah.

    Sometimes we learn from text based sources. And sometimes we learn from the Midos and actions of the Rav.

  22. Look at Rashi this is referring to some members of Sanhedrin

  23. As I said I agree with you only regarding those who can not independently evaluate the material
    If I say I was just outside and it was raining. For someone to say he won't believe me because of Trump even though he acknowledges that I have a solid track record in reliability and accuracy for a number of years is nonsense

    It is an indication of Trump being viewed as Saviour

  24. I think it's because people come here for Jewish matters. You seem to be a scholarly person so in the Orthodox world that gives credibility. But if you have this much time to spend on Trump, you can't be much of a scholar. If your secular interests are this strong, then your point of view is likely influenced by the outside world.

  25. When I finished published the Yad Moshe I originally stated on the title page that I had a Ph.D.

    Rav Binyamin Forst told me - don't mention that you have a Ph.D. because people will not pay attention to what you say.

    So if I talk about Maaseh Merkavah - then you readers will assume that I know what I am talking about. But if I mention secular subjects that shows that I can't know Torah because a true talmid chachom is ignorant about the world.

    There is an Ohr haChaim that mentions that the Jews at Sinai were not very educated or civilized and yet they got the Torah. This was to show that it wasn't because of their superiority but because of zchus Avos that they got the Torah.

    So it is not how much TIME I spend dealing with these issues but the mere fact that I talk about it that some view as a chesoron

  26. Yes, but see Ibn Ezra that even if you do everything right you can't make everyone happy.

  27. A PhD is fine with me.

  28. Truly bizarre rant!

    The Affordable Care Act stripped millions of employer provided health care plans and led major employers (including such as Home Depot, Walgreens) to push employees below 29 hours per week so as to avoid the obligation to provide the Hooverville of Obamacare (higher premiums, higher co-pays, higher deductibles) (resulting in coverage but inability to take advantage of coverage).

    The ACA imposed on free conscience a governmental command to buy insurance, and to punish the conscientious opponents of such a command with the tax euphemistically called a "shared responsibility payment."

    Did the Creator deign human conscience so disregardable a matter?

    If so, why did the Creator not simply erect an impermeable barrier around the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

    Obamacare is a gross violation of conscience (not to mention the moral and ethical wrongs of its imposition of a mandatory duty for employers to provide abortafacient birth control to employees).

    Ryancare, by striking the coercion of the "shared responsibility payment," will result, according to the CBO, in the transition of some 14 million people off of coerced insurance and back onto the dangerous liberty of choosing not to be insured. And that is the heart of that portion of the CBO report: the; ;bulk of the 14 million additional uninsured will be people exercising their natural right and liberty not to contract for a health insurance product.

  29. RDE
    Please do not be stubborn and risk alienating or losing the bulk of your readership!
    The public have spoken. Most of this blog's followers believe you should wind down the Trump posts. Why, then, do you continue?

  30. DT asked his original question as a rhetorical inquiry not as a basis to change or revamp this blog.

    Sort of similar to the Presidental election - the PUBLIC voted & decided on the new president then the opponent/left wing/democrats/ losers became empowered & belligerent.

    Similar behavior!!

  31. I am not writing the Blog to entertain. I enjoy the give and take of ideas and l like to share information with others who might benefit.

    The blog's followers have made no commitment to anything and have no rights - only the permission to express their feelings. I don't feel a need to align myself with the majority - especially when I view them as mistaken


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