He may not be shooting them to death in the middle of Fifth Avenue but President Trump is killing Americans with his edicts. While these incidents are neither unique nor isolated, I will simply utilize two incidents from last week to prove my hypothesis. Let’s explore.
While Trump rated his response to the ongoing tragedy in Puerto Rico as an, “A plus,” Puerto Ricans have in some cases been driven by desperation to drinking water from sealed wells on Superfund cleanup sites. Their logic is die now of lack of water or take a chance of dying sometime in the future from drinking toxic water. They have been force to do that because of the botched relief effort led by their President. (By now I assume Trump knows that Puerto Ricans are American citizens no different than Iowans. In fact there are about them same number of them. Iowans have the right to vote in Presidential elections and generally have white skin; Puerto Ricans do not have the right to vote in Presidential elections and generally have brown skin. I think in large part the differences explain Trump’s action.)
Friday morning as part of a series of tweets that included blaming the situation on the Puerto Ricans themselves and bringing up the islands debt (articles could be written about the debt itself) Trump included the following “gem”: “We cannot keep FEMA, the Military & the First Responders, who have been amazing (under the most difficult circumstances) in P. R. forever!” Keep in mind this is three weeks into an inadequate and terribly mismanaged federal aid effort. I am a senior citizen; thousands of American military troops have been in Germany and Korea my entire lifetime and show no sign of exiting anytime soon. In Trump’s mind three week in Puerto Rico helping Americans is stretching them too far.
Belatedly (and only after Hillary Clinton pointed it out on national television) Trump dispatched the large navy hospital vessel, the USNS Comfort, to Puerto Rico. This remarkable ship has approximately 1,000 beds and can produce drinking water. As of late last week less than 10 of those beds were occupied while American citizens on the island were starting to suffer from a potentially deadly but treatable disease caused by drinking water polluted by rodent urine. Am I the only one confused by that juxtaposition of facts?
Trump has taken swift action on one front related to the Puerto Rican recovery effort; he has already lifted his suspension of the Jones Act. He was late to the party to invoke it, but swift to rescind it. This will make it more difficult to get aid to the island and increase the cost of all goods – relief oriented or not – on the island.
Thursday Trump signed an executive order cutting off a subsidy to insurance companies to help keep rates lower during the early days of Obamacare. The financial allowance was in the legislation because in the early days of expanded coverage many people would be entering the market that had not been treated for diseases they had prior but did not access to treatment for. In plain language a lot of sick people would be coming in all at once. As time went on that anomaly would disappear.
The best impact analysis of Trump’s decree that I can find indicates that 1 million Americans will lose their health insurance in 2018, (it could be as high as 6 million). In addition insurance premiums are expected to rise by an average of an additional 20% and the move will negatively impact the deficit by $200 million by 2026. Other than placating Bubba, (until Bubba finds out that he is one of the Americans harmed), and satisfying Trump’s ego, who profits from this?
Friday Trump spoke at the ironically named Value Voters Summit. During his speech he praised the achievements of his administration and his own performance. In describing his efforts on the behalf of natural disaster victims he said, “I met with the President of the Virgin Islands.” The U.S. Virgin Islands are part of America and therefore their President is Donald Trump. Perhaps he was talking to the man in the mirror. In the same speech he avowed his concern for, “The furniture and future of our children.” Maybe he was having a flashback to his seduction attempt of a married woman he referred to in the infamous Access Hollywood tapes.
Thursday’s move is just another in a series intended to undermine Obamacare. Previously Trump and his team had cut the open enrollment period, shut down the website 12 hours on each Sunday of that period (the supposed maintenance couldn’t be done at another time?). In addition they have severely slashed the advertising and navigator budgets. To add insult to injury, they have actually used some of the remaining funding in an attempt to dissuade young people from enrolling.
Americans will die because of Trump’s actions! I guess Trump is more concerned with people like Steve Bannon saying nice things about him and making it easier for Stephen Miller to write speeches he will mangle.
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