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Wednesday, May 3, 2017

The Daily Combover - May 3, 2017

Today Trump attended a School Choice Event and then later hosted Palestinian President Abbas for lunch. His brief day ended shortly thereafter when the two took part in a press conference where they spoke past each other.

So rather than delve into that, today we're going to look at the upcoming vote on Repealing the ACA in favor of the latest iteration of TrumpCare. TPM notes that Republican efforts were saved when the Tuesday Group inserted a short-term funding option of $8 billion to cover risk pools for pre-existing conditions for five years.

Ironically, that's the only thing we know for sure is included in the bill. The Republicans have thus far refused to allow the CBO to score the bill presumably because they don't want its contents released to the public. All negotiations, forced hands, threats, arm-twists, etc. occurred behind closed doors.

This move from the Republicans comes on the heels of a series of mind-boggling Trump interviews over the past few days. One of which, took place on Face the Nation, or as Trump told the host, John Dickerson, that he calls it: Deface the Nation.

From that interview:
PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: Pre-existing conditions are in the bill. And I just watched another network than yours, and they were saying, "Pre-existing is not covered." Pre-existing conditions are in the bill. And I mandate it. I said, "Has to be."
PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: We have, we're going to have lower premiums. And before you start there, let me just tell you something. Obamacare is dead. Obamacare right now, all the insurance companies are fleeing. Places like Tennessee have already lost half of their state with the insurance companies. They're all going. Obamacare, John, is dead. Okay, because we're being -- we're being compared to Obamacare. Just, so. Obamacare doesn't work--
JOHN DICKERSON: I just want to compare you to your own.
For brevity's sake we're going to clip out all the crosstalk about Obamacare that comes at this point in the interview.
JOHN DICKERSON: So but in the bill, as it was analyzed, there were two problems. One, and you talked about this with Congressman Robert Aderholt, who brought you the example of the 64-year-old who under Obamacare the premiums--
PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: But that was a long time ago, John.
JOHN DICKERSON: But has that been fixed?
We've, of course, learned that any time Trump says "totally" he's lying. So expect a lot of BS to follow:
PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: How? We've made many changes to the bill. You know, this bill is--
JOHN DICKERSON: What kind though?
PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: --very much different than it was three weeks ago.
JOHN DICKERSON: Help us explain because there are people--
JOHN DICKERSON: --out there wondering what kind of changes.
PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: Let me explain. Let me explain it to you.
PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: This bill is much different than it was a little while ago, okay? This bill has evolved. And we didn't have a failure on the bill. You know, it was reported like a failure. Now, the one thing I wouldn't have done again is put a timeline. That's why on the second iteration, I didn't put a timeline.
But we have now pre-existing conditions in the bill. We have -- we've set up a pool for the pre-existing conditions so that the premiums can be allowed to fall. We're taking across all of the borders or the lines so that insurance companies can compete--
As I was saying...
JOHN DICKERSON: But that's not in--
JOHN DICKERSON: --this bill. The borders are not in--
PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: Of course, it's in.
JOHN DICKERSON: --this bill. It's in that third bill, right, because--
PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: It's in the second phase.
PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: It's called phase one, phase two. And that's, in effect, second phase, which will get approved, which will quickly get approved.
PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: But let me just explain something. There will be such competition. Right now, there's no competition. There will be such competition by insurance companies so that they can get health care and the people taking care of health care.
PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: The other thing we're going to have is groups. Groups of people can negotiate. What's going to happen is the competition is going to drive down the premiums. In my opinion, much, much more than people understand.
Trump seems quite fascinated by the way insurance works. It's as if he forgot the time he committed insurance fraud for $17 million.
JOHN DICKERSON: So what you've just described is the bill that you previously had said you worried wouldn't help your people. And here's why I ask. You said, "Pre-existing conditions."
PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: No, there were things in the other bill, the first version, which were not as good.
PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: But when I watch some of the news reports, which are so unfair, and they say we don't cover pre-existing conditions, we cover it beautifully.
Another keyword to look for when searching for a Trump lie. All lies are done beautifully.
PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: I'll tell you who doesn't cover pre-existing conditions. Obamacare. You know why? It's dead.
JOHN DICKERSON: In one of the fixes that was--
PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: It's not going to be here.
JOHN DICKERSON: In one of the fixes it was discussed pre-existing was optional for the states--
PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: Sure, in one of the fixes. And they're changing it--
JOHN DICKERSON: --oh, okay. So it'll--
JOHN DICKERSON: --be permanent?
Permanent. As in it will outlast the Trump Regime because even if he isn't impeached, there's no way he's reelected. So 5 years of "coverage" versus 4 years maximum of Trump.

And now let's see how long it takes Dickerson to get Trump to guarantee "permanent coverage."
JOHN DICKERSON: Okay. Well, that's a development, sir. So you're saying it's going to be pre-existing to everybody?
PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: John, this has evolved over a period of three or four weeks. Now, we really have a good bill. I think they could have voted on Friday. I said, "Just relax. Don't worry about this phony 100 day thing. Just relax. Take it easy. Take your time. Get the good vote and make it perfect."
PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: Most importantly, we're going to drive down premiums. We're going to drive down deductibles because right now, deductibles are so high, you never -- unless you're going to die a long, hard death, you never can get to use your health care--
JOHN DICKERSON: Let me ask you something--
PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: --because the deductibles are so high.
JOHN DICKERSON: Okay. So what I hear you saying is pre-existing is going to be in there for everybody, it's not going to be up to the states?
PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: Pre-existing is going to be in there and we're also--
JOHN DICKERSON: And it's not up to the states?
PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: --going to create pools.
PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: And pools are going to take care of the pre-existing.
JOHN DICKERSON: But on that crucial question, it's not going to be left up to the states? Everybody gets pre-existing, no matter where they live?
PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: No, but the states--
PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: --are also going to have a lot to do with it because we ultimately want to get it back down to the states.
JOHN DICKERSON: Okay. Is it a guarantee?
PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: Look, because if you hurt your knee, honestly, I'd rather have the federal government focused on North Korea, focused on other things, than your knee, okay? Or than your back, as important as your back is. I would much rather see the federal government focused on other things--
PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: --bigger things. Now, the state is going to be in a much better position to take care, because it's smaller.
JOHN DICKERSON: People out there with pre-existing conditions, they are worried. Are they going to have the guarantee of coverage if they have a pre-existing condition or if they live in a state where the governor decides that's not a part of the health care, or that the prices are going to go up? That's the worry. The American Medical Association says--
JOHN DICKERSON: --it could effectively make coverage completely unaffordable for people.
PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: --we actually have, well, forget about unaffordable. What's unaffordable is Obamacare, John.
JOHN DICKERSON: So I'm not hearing you, Mr. President, say there's a guarantee of pre-existing conditions.
PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: We actually have -- we actually have a clause that guarantees.
JOHN DICKERSON: Okay, excellent. We got there.
All he had to say was, "yes." Instead we got a five minute exchange including yet another round of lies about ObamaCare. 

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