Ignore Bannon. It is a Medicare, Medicaid, Obamacare Bait & Switch

by Egberto Willies –


We are about to fall for the biggest con. The Alt-Right, Steve Bannon, and dissension in Trump’s transition team is nothing more than a distraction. We better get engaged now.

Today’s post-election media coverage is about Trump naming Steve Bannon, a white supremacist, as his chief strategist. It’s a bait & switch.

Donald Trump knew that Steve Bannon would be controversial. At the same time, he named Right Wing ideologue Reince Priebus as his chief of staff.

While Steve Bannon’s Alt-Right White Nationalist proclivities are disturbing, more disturbing is his likely attempt to distort the news. That should be much more concerning.

It is obvious what Trump is doing. It is obvious what Paul Ryan is doing. It is obvious what Republicans are doing.

While Democrats and the media are hyperventilating about a white supremacist in the White House, Paul Ryan is giddy working to undo Obamacare, Medicare, and Medicaid. Ryan could not contain himself in his elation during his press conference this morning as he pointed this out using code words. He ignored questions about Bannon and pressed on about making big changes. What are these big changes? Our social safety net. They prefer the Right Wing lexicon ‘entitlements’ to make our social safety net seem like an unearned giveaway.

Paul Ryan is hugging Donald Trump tightly. More importantly, Trump’s website has the subtle code words that make it obvious he is leaving legislating to others, the ideologues.

The Administration recognizes that the problems with the U.S. health care system did not begin with – and will not end with the repeal of – the ACA.  With the assistance of Congress and working with the States, as appropriate, the Administration will act to:

  • Protect individual conscience in healthcare
  • Protect innocent human life from conception to natural death, including the most defenseless and those Americans with disabilities
  • Advance research and development in healthcare
  • Reform the Food and Drug Administration, to put greater focus on the need of patients for new and innovative medical products
  • Modernize Medicare, so that it will be ready for the challenges with the coming retirement of the Baby Boom generation – and beyond
  • Maximize flexibility for States in administering Medicaid, to enable States to experiment with innovative methods to deliver healthcare to our low-income citizens

The bold bullet points should be examined closely. It opens the door for women losing their reproductive control again, privatization of Medicare, and complete state control of Medicaid. Ask over one million Texans how that is working in our state.

The Huffington Post Senior National Correspondent Jonathan Cohn and Senior Reporter Jeffrey Young wrote a must-read article titled “Not Just Obamacare: Medicaid, Medicare Also On GOP’s Chopping Block” that points out the following.

Donald Trump and Republican leaders in Congress have made clear they are serious about repealing Obamacare, and doing so quickly. But don’t assume their dismantling of government health insurance programs will stop there. For about two decades now, Republicans have been talking about radically changing the government’s two largest health insurance programs, Medicaid and Medicare.

The goal with Medicaid is to turn the program almost entirely over to the states, but with less money to run it. The goal with Medicare is to convert it from a government-run insurance program into a voucher system ― while, once again, reducing the money that goes into the program.

House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) has championed these ideas for years. Trump has not. In fact, in a 2015 interview his campaign website highlighted, he vowed that “I’m not going to cut Medicare or Medicaid.” But the health care agenda on Trump’s transition website, which went live Thursday, vows to “modernize Medicare” and allow more “flexibility” for Medicaid.

In Washington, those are euphemisms for precisely the kind of Medicare and Medicaid plans Ryan has long envisioned. And while it’s never clear what Trump really thinks or how he’ll act, it sure looks like both he and congressional Republicans are out to undo Lyndon Johnson’s health care legacy, not just Barack Obama’s.

We must point out to well-intentioned Americans that a radical Right Wing White Supremacist will be in the White House. But most importantly we must start raising hell in the streets, in Churches, in Synagogues, in Mosques, at the coffee shops, in the grocery stores, in the gyms, and everywhere else. We must point out that Donald Trump is deceiving his “working class” supporters and the rest of Americans by ceding his populous modal to Paul Ryan.

Paul Ryan is intent on privatizing as much of the social safety net that he can get away with while no one is paying attention. He talks with a confidence and braggadocio as if the Republicans won a mandate. To be clear, most Americans voted for the Democratic President and Democratic Senators. The same may apply to the House of Representatives as well when all the votes are counted. We cannot allow major changes under this reality. It would be tantamount to the greatest American democratic theft.

Please make sure this information is shared widely. Neither cable nor broadcast media will spend much time on these details.


Reprinted with permission from Daily Kos