For all his crocodile tears, the media has always graded popular vote loser Donald Trump on a curve. Oh, he read a speech to Congress that didn’t include him spewing insults? How frickin’ presidential! The latest example of this relates to Zombie Trumpcare. As you may remember, on the campaign trail he flatly stated on many occasions that he wouldn’t touch Medicaid. It was in the speech where he launched his presidential campaign, for Pete’s sake.
Save Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security without cuts. Have to do it.
Now, he’s going to not just cut it, he wants to gut it. The Zombie Trumpcare bill contains almost a trillion dollars in Medicaid cuts. His proposed budget would slash about $600 billion more, reducing overall financing by about half over the next decade.
When asked about this blatantly broken promise, White House Budget Director Mick Mulvaney told John Harwood that the promise to protect Medicaid “had been overridden by the promise to repeal/replace Obamacare.” This reminds me of when Nixon Press Secretary John Ziegler said that previous statements had been made “inoperative” by a new one that completely contradicted them.
To get back to the matter of double standards, think back to when President Obama got called out for having promised that, even after healthcare reform took effect, “if you like your health care plan, you can keep it.” That turned out not to be true, and Obama got reamed across the media, including by left-leaning commentators. Politifact rated this quotation the “Lie of the Year” for 2013.
The Mulvaney statement became public on Monday. We’ve known for a while that Trump has already endorsed massive cuts to Medicaid. The question is this: why was Obama pilloried, and Trump largely given a pass for his broken promise? One answer is that Trump has done so many other awful things that this is just one more brick in the wall (pun intended). But that doesn’t make it right. Far from it.