Alice Ollstein’s feature this morning on the initial round of state reactions and insurer retrenchment to President Trump’s multiple attacks on the underpinnings of Obamacare is worth your time.
But a quick point on just how upside down these attacks are, even from the perspective of what is good for Trump politically. As Tierney Sneed reported for us yesterday, the downsides for Trump himself are extraordinary. He either doesn’t care, doesn’t understand, or can’t see past the initial flush feeling of having taken a sledgehammer to his predecessor’s signature legislative achievement (keeping in mind he himself has zero such achievements).
With Trump U, Trump Steaks, Trump Ice and all the other Trumpian cons, there was an upside for Trump. That’s the whole point of the con. As Josh explained at length over the weekend, the I win-you lose paradigm for deal-making and negotiations is all Trump knows. But the latest attacks on Obamacare have no discernible upside: they raise rates, further destabilize the markets, and cost the government more money.
We can’t get inside his head to know whether he has convinced himself otherwise or those around him have fed him a crock of nonsense to convince him. But it’s not hard to anticipate seeing this kind of story in a few months: Trump said to be frustrated that he wasn’t fully briefed on the consequences of his anti-Obamacare policies.
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