Krugman looks at Trumpcare


Krugman calculates who should favor this bill.

So, is this bill good for you? Yes, if you meet the following criteria:

1.Your income is more than $200,000 a year
2.You have a job that comes with good health insurance
3.You can’t imagine any circumstances under which you lose that job or income
4.You don’t have any family members or friends who don’t meet those criteria
5.You have zero empathy for anyone else

Let’s see. Do I qualify?

  1. Nope. Not even close.

  2. Yes! Except, of course, that I work in education, which the Trump administration wants to destroy.

  3. Nope. I’ll definitely lose this job inside a decade, when I retire. Or, to look on the bright side, when I die.

  4. Nope. Three kids who are just starting early adulthood.

  5. No, although I suppose I could work on it. I’ve already lost all empathy for Trump voters.

I guess I should be 80% against the bill by those criteria. It’s more like 800%, though.

But we do know the script the Republicans are following.

The set of people who can check all these boxes is not a winning political coalition. But Republican leaders believe that their voters are tribal enough, sufficiently walled off from information, that they’ll ignore the attack on their lives and keep voting R – indeed, that as they lose health care, get hit with crushing out-of-pocket bills, see their friends and neighbors face ruin, they’ll blame it on Democrats.

I wish I were sure that this belief was false.

Comments

  1. blf says

    Entirely by coincidence, Ballad Of Accounting started playing as I was reading the OP & the bit about tribal voting. Some relevant lines:

    Did you stand there in the traces and let ’em feed you lies?
    Did you trail along behind them wearing blinkers on your eyes?
    Did you kiss the foot that kicked you, did you thank them for their scorn?
    Did you ask for their forgiveness for the act of being born, act of being born, act of being born?

    […]

    Did you stand aside and let ’em choose while you took second best?
    Did you let ’em skim the cream off and give to you the rest?
    Did you settle for the shoddy and did you think it right
    To let ’em rob you right and left and never make a fight, never make a fight, never make a fight?

  2. brett says

    I think for a bunch of them, seeing “undeserving” neighbors and family members get hurt is a virtue. A while back there was an interesting piece on voting in places like Kentucky, where tons of people vote Republican even thought the state depends heavily on Medicaid. What they found was that it wasn’t the Medicaid recipients who were voting Republican (most of them don’t regularly vote), but the people just above them who were voting to punish said recipients:

    The people who most rely on the safety-net programs secured by Democrats are, by and large, not voting against their own interests by electing Republicans. Rather, they are not voting, period. They have, as voting data, surveys and my own reporting suggest, become profoundly disconnected from the political process.

    The people in these communities who are voting Republican in larger proportions are those who are a notch or two up the economic ladder — the sheriff’s deputy, the teacher, the highway worker, the motel clerk, the gas station owner and the coal miner. And their growing allegiance to the Republicans is, in part, a reaction against what they perceive, among those below them on the economic ladder, as a growing dependency on the safety net, the most visible manifestation of downward mobility in their declining towns.

  3. rpjohnston says

    Blame it on the Democrats is exactly what thy’ll do. Trump is already doing it – screaming about Democratic “obstruction” on hos nominees, which democrats, of course, are physically incapable of doing because they don’t have the numbers – and his degenerates eat it up.

    Democratic wins will hinge on two things:

    The first and by far most important is OUR PEOPLE. Republicans will not vote for Democrats. It’s Us or Them. Democratic leaders need to understand that and reject the degenerate millions on the Right from America. We MUST inflame our base and get them to the polls in order to take our country back from the degenerates that are on the verge of destroying it.

    The second, what to do about the Right? There are tactics that we can use to weaken them. One of my favorite tactics is to steal enemy’s tactics and use it against them. They conflate “America” with white supremacy, but “America” isn’t a bad thing. We can put forward a loud and unequivocal message that”America” is a shining city on the hill, a beacon of freedom for the people of the world, that Americans who are Muslim are AMERICANS and that our AMERICAN VALUES are to be a bulwark against religious hatred. Specifically call the Right’s vision Un-American and reject their evil from our American Values. Don’t weasel around with half-assed words like “wrong” and “hurt” and “deport” – use “evil” and “destroy” and “evict”.

    The same can be used for issues. “Police” don’t have to be evil. Want to enact reforms but a thick white line of racists protects the thick blue line? Reframe your proposal not as a punishment on police but as a blessing. Police always say they murdered someone because they were “scared”, they’ve got military toys they don’t need?

    “I am proposing a huge increase in funding for training programs, including tactics, escalation, and weapons training to ensure that our officers have the equipment they need and are not left in the dark to panic when situations are dangerous and their lives are on the line.”

    It’s not “we’re taking away your big guns”, it’s “we will ensure you have the equipment you need”. It’s not “training so you won’t make shitty decisions and excuse it as being scared” it’s “training to ensure you aren’t left unsafe and in the dark to panic”.

    And of course be sure to hammer in the evil that Republicans are doing. The GOP DEATH PANEL released a proposal to KILL YOUR GRANDPARENTS WITH CANCER AND MAKE YOUR CHILDREN SUFFER IN PAIN. On twitter I’ve been seeing a post from Elizabeth Warren come up – in the Tweet she calls it “blood money” and that’s good! But in the video she waxes on about policy and sober consequences and makes rational arguments. Trevor Noah showed an almost painful clip in which Chuck Shumer used a sharpie to change “mean” to “meaner”.

    Come on guys, the GOP screams about DEATH PANELS KILLING YOUR GRANDMA from Obamacare. The Democrats say “[eloquent speech] and while the House version was called “mean”, the Senate version is mean…ER!” The GOP meets with “victims of Obamacare”, and Elizabeth Warren says “[staid voice]This bill just has one flashing neon light after another that signals who it is that the Republicans work for. Let’s go to the part on taxes…]” and then uses subtle sarcasm to say that the bill is great if you meet this list of criteria.

    Arguments don’t matter anymore! I’m the intellectual sort that Warren’s argumentation is directed towards, I’m unemployed and childless so I have all the time in the world to research policy, and I don’t recall what exactly is in the bill, nor do I care! I know the general idea! Democrats’ job now is to be LOUD and INSPIRE people! Their message should be that they will FIGHT the GOP’s bad faith, not good-faith middle-manage it! And to the extent that Democrats address Republicans, they shouldn’t be trying to convince them that they should cross aisles for a half-assed Republican, but that Republicanism goes against their core identity, that DEMOCRATS represent their identities (good-American, good-policing!) and that Republicans KILL THEM AND THEIR FAMILY!

    Arghhhh. Sorry for ranting but I am getting so godsdamn frustrated by this continued fecklessness.

  4. says

    When Hamas won in Gaza, someone in the US press referred to “suicide voters” but that was before Trump and brexit.

    The plutocrats have created vast masses of ignorant, propagandized proles – who vote for them but will tear them limb from limb if they ever wake up. It seems a bad strategy, but what do I know?

  5. davidnangle says

    I’m thinking of changing my name to “Republican Lawmaker.” That way, I can travel to red states, announce my name, then mug everyone I see at gunpoint. They’ll hand over their money happily, when I tell them it will make liberals cry. If anyone seems upset at being robbed, I’ll remind them Clinton caused it.

    I could rob churches too, but it wouldn’t work. They’re already in on the scam, decades ahead of me.

  6. says

    “The people in these communities who are voting Republican in larger proportions are those who are a notch or two up the economic ladder — the sheriff’s deputy, the teacher, the highway worker, the motel clerk, the gas station owner and the coal miner. And their growing allegiance to the Republicans is, in part, a reaction against what they perceive, among those below them on the economic ladder, as a growing dependency on the safety net, the most visible manifestation of downward mobility in their declining towns.”

    Right. But most Medicaid spending is on people with disabilities and old people in nursing homes — which might be their parents today and will be them in the future. And by the way, how much money do motel clerks make? I expect a lot of them qualify for Medicaid.

  7. jazzlet says

    @rpjohnston your rant is correct, the right in the US and elsewhere is appealing to people’s emotion and for the majority of peaple sadly you can’t beat that by appealling to their intellect.

    @cervantes that’s a rational waay of looking at it, see above.

  8. says

    But Republican leaders believe that their voters are tribal enough, sufficiently walled off from information, that they’ll ignore the attack on their lives and keep voting R

    All true, but don’t forget: they’re also counting on gerrymandering, voter suppression laws, and possibly even foreign intervention to ensure they keep winning elections no matter how unpopular their policies are. As a commentor over on Daily Kos said, politicians who know they’ll be facing fair and free elections don’t vote for legislation that the populace opposes 2-to-1.

  9. says

    Hi Paul,

    I do qualify for items 1-4. Except you are right my kids might fall outside this range, but they are well educated and in a good position to succeed.

    Item 5 is the death nail for me, Our obligation as people of means is to help the poor and less fortunate. I support ensuring 100% equal health care for all. I know the more exceptionally rich can always go elsewhere for health care just as they can go for an abortion – regardless of the laws in Texas.

    george

  10. jrkrideau says

    @ 5 Marcus
    When Hamas won in Gaza, someone in the US press referred to “suicide voters”

    Not being from the USA I thought the vote very reasonable if a bit risky. Not that I would generally support Hamas, but I’d probably vote for them if I lived in Gaza.

  11. DanDare says

    That interesting graph could be interpreted as the US successfully helping the elderly to stay alive longer.

    It’s not really interesting until it shows the health care cost for equivalent individuals in each contry.

    My guess is the graph would look about the same in each category but then it’s something to point at.

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