The Price of Belief (#TrumpCare)

#TrumpCare | #WhatTheyVotedFor

Health and Human Services nominee Rep. Tom Price (R-GA06) testifies at his confirmation hearing, 18 January 2017, at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. (Photo: Joshua Roberts/Reuters)

Every once in a while, it occurs to wonder if perhaps they are doing it on purpose.

President Donald Trump’s administration made a bold guarantee Sunday morning, telling Americans that health insurance won’t cost more if Republicans repeal the Affordable Care Act.

I firmly believe that nobody will be worse off financially in the process that we’re going through, understanding that they’ll have choices that they can select the kind of coverage that they want for themselves and for their family, not the government forces them to buy,” Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

This line could become Price’s “If you like your plan, you can keep it” moment ― a sweeping sound bite that ends up being not true. (President Barack Obama eventually had to apologize for his promise in 2013.)

(Terkel; boldface accent added)

No, really. He actually went and said that.

Amanda Terkel’s observation of the risk seems rather quite straightforward. It is one thing to criticize the writer for stating the obvious, and another, of course, to wonder at the audience that needs such reminders. But Secretary Price has spent twenty years in public service, including twelve in the House of Representatives. The Trump White House finds itself scrambling for excuses, far too often relying on the proposition that this is a collection of hack amateurs—yes, really, incompetence is their excuse. Maybe a sensationalist, Hollywood-elitist media publisher is either vapid or sinisterα; we know the President of the United States is clueless. Perhaps the former chairman of the Republican National Committeeβ never really paid attention to a thing he said during the years spent playing Chicken Little about imagined scandal and intrigue in the Obama White House. Secretary Price, however, ought to know better.

This is basic politics. Then again, this is also #DimensionTrump; basic politics are a dangerously unstable metric. Nonetheless, between incompetence or calculation, toss a coin. Incompetent calculation is certainly possible, but it just seems experienced hands ought to be at least a little more capable.


α Or both. Mr. Bannon seems nearly proud of his supervillain aspiration. And let us face it, that the guy probably knows a thing or two about the market value of a foolish supervillain, one wonders at the Beltway metaphorical equivalent of being pulled into a turbine by his cape.

β It doesn’t seem so long ago we might have said:

It also seems worth noting that Reince Priebus is one of the people who ought to at least have some clue how the presidency works; Donald Trump might be an amateur, but the White House Chief of Staff has been the Chairman of the Republican National Committee. One might think in all the time the GOP spent bawling about their invented pretenses of corruption in the Obama White House, they might have learned a thing or three about what actually goes on in the executive branch.

Image note Health and Human Services nominee Rep. Tom Price (R-GA06) testifies at his confirmation hearing, 18 January 2017, at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. (Photo: Joshua Roberts/Reuters)

Terkel, Amanda. “HHS Secretary Tom Price Says ‘Nobody Will Be Worse Off Financially’ Under Obamacare Repeal”. The Huffington Post. 12 March 2017.

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