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Hullabaloo


Saturday, January 07, 2017

 
Damn it Dems. Make news on what repealing ObamaCare means!

By Spocko

I know the D.C. Democrats are busy running around trying to find their next job and tickets to concerts but Christ on a crutch why isn't anyone baiting Trump about his "repeal and replace" ObamaCare promise?


At least get some people out there who can tell us what a straight up repeal would mean and what's going to happen next. Give us some scenarios like my hero Wendell Potter did here

Explain that what Americans faced before Obamacare will come rushing back, the insurance industry abuses, the crummy coverage, the out of control prices.  That's what repeal is. "But, but the law!" Well tell us exactly what can't be done and what CAN be done.

The problem is that the media lets Trump and his spokespeople off the hook time and time again for not having a plan and how they are making promises they can't keep.

Why are the democrats giving him more time? He has had over a year to come up with a replacement plan. Stop cutting him slack damn it! Every day they delay lets him prepare and lets the industry help him to the soft landing they want.

 "But but he's not even in office yet!" So what? Is he going to do in two weeks what he couldn't do in 18 months? No. He's going to ask for an extension and get it. Do we wait for the extension? Hell no! People need to stop moping around.

It's not really that hard to get under Trump's skin. And, for all I know there are a bunch of unemployed Clinton healthcare strategists planning a big push back to be unleashed Tuesday morning.  If so, great, I want a cookie if I predicted it. But I don't see anything yet.

This week I've been listening to Sam Seder and Cliff Schecter talking about how Trump won't be able to really repeal ObamaCare, how he'll declare a win and kick the can down the road till 2019, 3 years away.  Any problems in the continuing system will be blamed on Obamacare.  He'll blame Democrats for all the bad stuff still there and if he is forced to keep any good stuff, that's because he negotiated a great deal with the industry.

Taking credit for other people's success and avoiding blame: a perfect Trump "win." And he'll get away with it too because there are no "meddling kids" pushing him to overreact and tear off his mask.

On the other hand, the healthcare industry does have a strategy and a narrative. In this insightful piece last month from Joey Rettino he explains what they are doing.

Repeal Obamacare? GOP Should Be Careful What They Wish For

The PR shops will help Republicans convince the public they’ve repealed and replaced the law when all they will have done is tweak it to the satisfaction of a few lobbyists — in particular, lobbyists for the health-insurance industry. So much for draining the swamp.

We are already seeing this in the form of comments from KellyAnne Conway.
The reason Republican leaders have called in the PR pros is because of what they undoubtedly have been hearing from my former colleagues in the health insurance business: If they rush to repeal ObamaCare and think they can replace it with a plan based on those ideas, they’ll have a PR nightmare on their hands in no time flat. And it won’t help to postpone the replacement for a couple of years. The uncertainty created would lead insurers to abandon the ObamaCare exchanges well before two years had passed.
As that reality sinks in, party leaders will draft legislation that will be based on the insurance industry’s wish list and try to sell it as making good on their repeal-and-replace campaign promise. Among the items on that wish list: allowing insurers to once again charge people in their 40s, 50s and 60s far more than younger people for the exact same coverage, letting them once again take the status of an applicant’s health into consideration when pricing their policies and making it legal again for them to sell inadequate or even worthless coverage to gullible Americans.
This scenario makes sense to me, because the lobbyists and the Republicans are expected to act as they always act. But nobody seems to get that Trump can't be counted on to play the same game. 

Everyone is assuming that he'll listen to reason. They also don't want to be the one who pushes him into doing something rash. So now people are helping him soften the blow--for various reasons ranging from noble: saving lives, the overall good of the people, to the more craven: their career or the bottom line.

Nobody wants to be the one who forces Trump to actually do what he promises because they know real people will die if that happens. I can't tell you how many times I hear people say that "somebody" will stop him.
BTW, Trump was never a governor in a death penalty state. He has had no military service leadership where a mistake means people die.
Has Trump ever been personally responsible for people dying? What about people he liked dying?  Has he ever ordered people to their deaths? Ordering someone to kill "the enemy" or "bad dudes" is different than being responsible when the good guys die because of your actions. 
 Americans aren't very good at "Imagine this terrible thing happening. Now do something about it so it doesn't happen." Remember, "Osama determined to strike...?" We are better at, "Holy CRAP! That terrible thing happened, why didn't we do something? Never mind, we need to fix this, right now!"

Right now insurance industry lobbyists are trying to keep the "good stuff" (aka profits) from ACA while their PR people are trying to make Trump look like he's doing what he promised. There are other groups that are helping to keep things running the same, they range from doctors worried about patients to Pharma worried about patents.

For this to work smoothly it requires Democrats to play along. And they will, because they hope the "good stuff for the people" won't be taken away. The don't want to use the leverage of people who will die as a negotiation tool (damn guilty conscience!).

Can someone please call Trump on his bullshit and describe what an actual "repeal without replace on day one"would mean? It would be a shitstorm of death and financial chaos.  Actual people would die.



Out of sight, out of your mind

Americans have a hard time connecting losses or wins to the person who caused them, especially when they happen months and years in the future.

Trump knows that people want a quick win. That's why he's taking credit for stuff that he didn't do. If something fails. he will find a scapegoat.

You need to understand the mind of the man who wants to sit at the head the table. Trump wants to be the good guy, the hero. We are assuming he will betray the people who voted from him in favor of the health insurance industry like regular politicians.

That's because it is set up that this fight is between Trump and "the government/AKA ObamaCare" but it can easily be shown to be a fight between Trump and the health insurance industry. Here's how you could do it based on what is actually happening and the patterns we have seen.

Imagine if Trump found out that one of the top insurance company Aetna Inc., MetLife Inc or Centene Corp had their people going around telling investors that they "got Trump under control." or "Don't worry we will remain profitable"  Or maybe they are telling congress people they will get their way like they did with Obama because Donald Trump is a puppet and a joke.  And imagine these companies are all top donors to Hillary,

I think you can envision the mean tweet that would provoke from the Trump.
(And by mean tweet I'm thinking about his Boeing tweet that caused its stock to dive and scared the bejeebers out of the business community.)

Now I'm not saying that we make up stuff, we just need to show him what these insiders are actually telling people in private or in forums that aren't on the TV for Trump to catch between tweets.

Trump will want to prove that he is the boss. We just need to show that those insurance companies backed the wrong horse and they are saying he won't really do what he says. Add something personal from one of the CEOs and BOOM! Those are tweeting words!

To get Trump to see ObamaCare as the health insurance industry and not the government it needs to be personal. Did the Centene CEO, Michael F. Neidorff diss Trump at a Christmas party? Did Aetna CEO Mark Bertolini fail to grovel at Trump Tower after Hillary lost? Is there a story about Steven A. Kandarian, the CEO of MetLife calling DJT slow-witted while at a Harvard MBA wine and cheese party? Who knows? Odds are something exists.

Trump has enemies and allies. If you can't get an enemy to speak up, get one of his allies to rat out an enemy.  The merger and consolidation business in health care insurance is big now. It would be a shame if one company faced the wrath of a Trump tweet,wouldn't it?

Now if this all sounds too tin foil hatty, I assure you that there are multiple real stories out there that can be used to bait Trump in the healthcare area. The problem is that most people think that telling stories of Trump voters losing health care will touch him. Appealing to his empathy for poor uninsured won't work.  You have to appeal to his winning/losing side with people he wants respect from.

We already know what the lobbyists have been saying behind the scenes. We already know how regular politicians react.  If Trump is baited in this area and he reacts the standard way politicians do, then we will use our standard methods. But we need to prepare for a different response.

I'm sure there are people out there who wonder, "Is it morally acceptable to push Trump into a corner where he will over react, endangering the lives of others?" I say it depends on who the others are. Trump is going to crush some group on the way to his "win" of repealing ObamaCare. I'd rather the group crushed be the health insurance industry executives--I hear they have great coverage.