President Trump’s advisor, Kellyanne Conway, indicated, over the weekend, that phones, microwaves, and T.V.s may be involved in the surveillance without saying, explicitly, that Obama kept a set of White House keys to let himself in the back door in the wee hours to fiddle with Trump’s electronics. Maybe it’s aliens, too.
Meanwhile, back at the podium, at his Monday press briefing, Sean Spicer, Press Secretary, announced that Trump’s Tweets directly accusing Obama didn’t mean that Obama, personally, was involved in tapping Trump, just that there had been surveillance of a type yet to be specified. This is very Inspector Jacques Clouseau because if Trump doesn’t know, by now, who did it there’s something else going on behind the screen.
For every miscue there’s a fabulous story that follows. The Brothers Grimm just signed up for a White House tour to better spin their own tales. The country, especially Trump’s supporters, meanwhile, is waiting to learn how the Paul Ryan proposed American Health Care Act that Trump supports isn’t going to cost 24 million Americans their health insurance, as projected by the Congressional Budget Office. That’s more than the estimated 20 million who got coverage, for the first time, under Obamacare. In AHCA’s first year, alone, 14 to 18 million Americans are projected to lose their coverage.
Purported savings from enactment of the American Health Care Act has been pegged at more than 300 billion. Fortune Magazine noted, on June 21, 2016, that health care spending under Obamacare was slowing, saying, “The slower health care spending also means that the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is expected to cost the U.S. government much less than previously estimated. The Congressional Budget Office estimated in 2010, after the passage of the ACA, that the gross cost of all ACA coverage provisions from 2014 to 2019 would cost $938 billion. That amount dropped to $686 billion in the 2015 forecast, a reduction of 26.9%.”
Health insurance companies have claimed that Obamacare is affecting their bottom lines. Consumeraffairs.com, on Nov. 1, 2016, illuminated the case of UnitedHealth, the nation’s largest health insurer, that reduced its 2016 earnings by $850 million, allegedly due to Obamacare. This, after announcing record-breaking profits in 2015, followed by an even better 2016.
In July 2016, UnitedHealth reported quarterly revenues totaling $46.5 billion, an increase of $10 billion over the same period in the preceding year. To put this in perspective, Apple’s first quarter earnings for the fiscal period ending December 31, 2016 were a record 78.4 billion. The pregnant question is when is enough, enough?
Consumeraffairs wrote that Aetna reported 2015 annual operating revenue of over $60.3 billion, a record for the Company. For 2016, the company claimed, in a Q filing, that it expected to lose 350 million on pre-tax individual products. The wolf’s tears are enough to break any citizen’s heart.
In March 2016, insurer Blue Cross Blue Shield published a report stating that people who signed up for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act have higher rates of certain diseases “than individuals who had BCBS individual coverage prior to health care reform.” So much for covering pre-existing conditions, many of which were excluded before the ACA.
Insurer complaints of losses, allegedly, caused by the ACA, ironically, don’t square with the White House’s talking point that many Americans have “insurance cards but they can’t use them.” What does this mean? Who is writing this script? How does stripping 26 million people of their health care allow them to use anything except best efforts at self-administered holistic medicine, vinegar included.
The fables spun by this Administration just don’t stop and they will, eventually, do far more damage to the country than they’re doing to the Trump White House.