Combat! blog has been crushed under an avalanche of work today and whimpers from the rubble but faintly. The world doesn’t stop for us to make money, though. Among other people whose work experience consists of pretending to have big, dynamic ideas on whatever subject is presently at hand, history continues apace. Yesterday, on Twitter, President Trump sang the praises of Republicans’ new bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, which may come to the House for a vote this week. “New healthcare plan is on its way,” he tweeted. “Will have much lower premiums & deductibles while at the same time taking care of pre-existing conditions!” As Robert Pear of the New York Times drily put it, “Which bill Mr. Trump was referring to is not clear.”
He probably means the new version of Trumpcare, which “takes care” of people in the mafia sense of the phrase. One of the concessions that makes this bill more appealing to conservatives in the House Freedom Caucus is a waiver that will allow states to let insurers charge higher premiums to customers with pre-existing conditions. The bill would also remove minimum coverage requirements that are currently part of Obamacare. That takes care of pre-existing conditions only in that it will let insurers charge prohibitively high premiums to cover them. For example, before the Affordable Care Act, I had a $38,000 deductible on my left shoulder because of previous injuries. That was basically the same as not having insurance, except I still paid premiums every month.
As for Trump’s promise of “much lower premiums and deductibles,” that might be true, if anyone cared to find out. Although the last bill Republicans proposed was expected to raise premiums 15% to 20% next year, no such information is known about the current bill. Rep. Chris Collins (R-New York) told the Times that House Republicans are “not planning to seek a new cost-and-impact estimate from the Congressional Budget Office.”
Whatever—the president is just going to say a bunch of stuff anyway. Also this weekend, Trump gave an interview to Salena Zito of the Washington Examiner, in which he compared himself to Andrew Jackson. If you’re thinking that’s kind of an odd choice of role model—given that he was responsible for the deaths of tens of thousands of Indians and wrecked the economy by eliminating the Bank of the United States—you have made a classic error. President Trump is not familiar with American history. I quote the leader of the free world:
People don’t realize, you know, the Civil War, if you think about it, why? People don’t ask that question, but why was there the Civil War? Why could that one not have been worked out?
When Trump says “people don’t realize this,” he means “I just learned this.” Given that he attended high school 50 years ago, you can almost forgive him for saying “people don’t ask” the question that literally every American history class asks. But Jesus Christ, man, he went to the United States Military Academy and then Wharton. He is the president of the United States. Is it too much to expect him to muster a B-level understanding of the most significant event in American history?
Anyway, Trump’s assertion that Jackson “was really angry what he saw with regard to the Civil War; he said, ‘There’s no reason for this'” is not true. Jackson did not say that, and he died 15 years before the war broke out. But who cares, right? The president says some stupid shit that literal schoolchildren know is not true, and it doesn’t matter. None of this matters. Nuke Korea, bankrupt me because I dislocated my shoulder again—the important thing is that a bunch of Jimmy Buffett fans got revenge on college students for not being able to say the n-word anymore. America is great, again.