Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks at the National Federation of Republican Assemblies on Saturday, Aug. 29, 2015, in Nashville, Tenn.
The Washington Post noted a health care anecdote out of Nashville that I read three times, just to make sure I wasn’t getting it wrong.
Soon after Charla McComic’s son lost his job, his health-insurance premium dropped from $567 per month to just $88, a “blessing from God” that she believes was made possible by President Trump.
“I think it was just because of the tax credit,” said McComic, 52, a former first-grade teacher who traveled to Trump’s Wednesday night rally in Nashville from Lexington, Tenn., with her daughter, mother, aunt and cousin.
The price change was actually thanks to a subsidy made possible by former president Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act, which is still in place, not by the tax credits proposed by Republicans as part of the health-care bill still being considered by Congress.
This is quite a moment. We’ve reached the point at which some conservatives decide they like Obamacare so much that they’re inclined to give Trump credit for it.
It reinforces the idea, voiced by many in recent weeks, that Republicans could very easily write up some superficial changes to the Affordable Care Act, put it in the form of legislation, pass it, and wait for voters – most of whom are increasingly fond of the ACA – to thank them.
This could effectively be the health care version of George Aiken’s famous paraphrase from the Vietnam era: Declare victory and go home.
GOP policymakers obviously intend to go in a very different direction, targeting benefits that many Trump voters currently want and enjoy. What’s unclear is what they’ll think if that happens.
The woman the Post spoke to in Tennessee went on to say she trusts Trump not to curtail her family’s benefits, and she hopes “more and more people” get coverage through the Republican legislation.
Except, we know – and Republicans concede – that the exact opposite is true: “more and more people” will be uninsured as a result of the bill some are calling “Trumpcare.” And while I’m skeptical the GOP plan will become law, I remain curious what the president’s die-hard supporters will think if Trump leaves them in much worse shape than they’re in now.
My hunch is, most will turn on him. As we discussed the other day, the Republican made all kinds of promises to these folks, well aware of what’s popular and what they wanted to hear. If he ends up pulling the rug out from under them, they’re going to notice – and White House spin won’t obscure their health care reality.