A set of maps on the NPR website show the dramatic effect of Obamacare on the number of uninsured in the US. Had the Republicans passed their own version of “Trumpcare” all those gains would have been reversed, though the insurance companies and the wealthy would have made very tangible gains. One important observation is that Obamacare takes care of the people who need help while Trumpcare – like almost everything the Republicans touch these days – would have been very generous with those who need no help.
Another way to read the maps is to look not specifically for healthcare coverage but to notice which states made the greatest gains. Then recall all the maps we were seeing a few months ago about the voting patterns across the US. States voting for Trump, which would include most of those dominated by Republicans, gained the least while states for Hillary gained the most. Check out especially the blue-green maps that show which states took advantage of the expanded Medicaid.
These maps reflect almost certainly the Republican bias against anything to do with Obama, fueled by the amazing number of bald-faced lies they kept telling each other about how awful Obamacare is.
We need to remind ourselves that the Republicans had many years to create a better plan and failed even to find one they could agree on even within their own party. Their incompetence is a sure sign that they are in very, very serious need of re-thinking what it means to be Republican.
Even Trump, the least thoughtful and least competent president we’ve for more than a century (or maybe ever) is learning faster than are the far right folk. He is moving toward the center. That really isn’t to his credit, I suspect, since I doubt that he understands what he is doing. But at least he is beginning to offer some hope of ending his severe threats to democracy, however inadvertent it may be.
Now the question becomes, how will Trump’s base react to the many ways in which he is deserting the reckless ideas for which they cheered so loudly?