From Bill Black:
Obamacare’s model is a far-right Heritage Foundation plan that Mitt Romney convinced Massachusetts to adopt when he was governor. Heritage’s design deliberately, for ideological reasons, minimized the governmental role and cost containment. The price of President Obama’s deal with the health insurance companies not to use their lobbying power to kill his Obamacare proposal was his willingness to minimize the role of the government and not include effective cost controls in the bill. The Republicans will not increase the role of government for political and ideological reasons. The Republicans will not impose effective cost controls on insurers and medical providers for the same reasons that Obama refused to do so. They fear the insurers and medical providers’ lobbying power and fear the loss of campaign contributions.
Trump ran on a promise to repeal and replace Obamacare and has instructed Congress to make it happen. Every few days, Paul Ryan, Speaker of the House, says they have a plan and it will be rolled out in March. We know the “zombie-eyed granny-starver” built his career trying to destroy the social safety net using the base canard that the federal budget must be balanced, when anyone who understands Modern Monetary Theory knows sovereign wealth is not constrained the way personal, business, state and municipal wealth are. Indeed, the only effective purpose of sovereign wealth is as debt to get people through hard times and the Federal Reserve was established for that purpose.
I’m not an expert on the ACA, but I understand increasing competition among healthcare insurance providers is another canard. Indeed, healthcare is not insurance. The only workable solution involves nationalizing healthcare providers to drive down costs in a single payer Medicare for all program, which gives the federal government the ability to place price controls on pharmaceutical companies. None of these things are going to come out of a GOP Congress bent on neoliberalism.
This circumstance illustrates the reality that Trump is not only opposed by the Left, but also the establishment members of the GOP. Trump may yet overcome the withering assault from corporate media, as indications are that the public is growing tired of their fake news, but co-opting the GOP establishment to extend healthcare as a right of all citizens is an impossibility, and we may as well face it now. We harbor too many illusions, as it is.
Which brings me to my favorite subject: Russia. We understand that the Left is bereft of arguments against the unforeseen Trump insurgency and was forced to fall back on the untenable notion of Russian interference in the recent election. Russia has been used since WWII for threat inflation in order to justify military spending, but we have yet to see any evidence that Russians hacked the election or influenced the Trump team.
And then there are the Never Trump GOP neocon warmongers led by John McCain and Lindsey Graham on behalf of elements in Deep State, who have leaked intel to the press in efforts to damage Trump appointees such as Mike Flynn. So, even if Trump somehow manages to survive attacks from the Left, he must also deal with Fix the Debt legislators like Paul Ryan and warmongers in the GOP, both of whom have broad support.
Nationalism in response to globalism is on the rise in Europe and Trump reflects that pattern here. Putin threw off the central bankers in Russia after the fall of the Soviet Union and supports right wing parties in Europe and the US who oppose the 1% and their imposition of austerity and resulting poverty. Trump finds himself in the unenviable position of having to oppose the political establishments of both parties.
As an insurgent, Trump will eventually discover he has more in common with Bernie Sanders, as he has picked up the causes of peace, trade and labor which the Left establishment abandoned.
Currently, a war is being waged in the GOP between nationalist paleocons like Ron Paul and Pat Buchanan and the Never Trump warmongers and neoliberals, who have a lot in common with the Democratic establishment. To do what he has promised, Trump must find a way to silence both parties of the political establishment. With GOP control of Congress, he has access to power, but getting those “lemmings in suicide vests” to go along may require many of them being “primaried” by voters who support peace, jobs and healthcare for all. If those aligned against Trump find a way to dispose of him, Pence as POTUS, both a warmonger and a neoliberal, would mean a return to the disastrous status quo.
IMHO, selecting Pence, Flynn and Mattis indicates the naivete to be expected of political neophytes.