In 2015, even before he decided to run for president, Donald TrumpDonald TrumpYes, the stock market rally is over. But don't blame it on Trump. Trump may throw out first pitch at Opening Day baseball game: report House intelligence panel Dem: I don't trust Nunes MORE told The Daily Signal: “I’m not going to cut Social Security like every other Republican. And I’m not going to cut Medicare or Medicaid.”
Candidate Trump told “60 Minutes”: “Everybody’s got to be covered. This is an un-Republican thing for me to say. … I am going to take care of everybody. I don’t care if it costs me votes or not. Everybody’s going to be taken care of much better than they’re taken care of now.”
Candidate Trump also promised: “You’re going to end up with great healthcare for a fraction of the price, and that’s gonna take place immediately after we go in, OK? Immediately. Fast. Quick.”
For President Trump, that makes: three promises made, three promises broken.
Anybody who thought that Trump was his own man, that he could be trusted to keep his campaign promises, or that he wouldn’t just go along with the same old, stale Republican orthodoxy, was wrong. Instead of standing on his own, Trump has enthusiastically embraced House Speaker Paul RyanPaul Ryan3 reasons Devin Nunes must step away from the Trump probe Wounded Ryan faces new battle Can Trump rebound after failure on healthcare bill? MORE’s (R-Wis.) disastrous healthcare plan — which is the exact opposite of everything Trump talked about during the campaign. It covers fewer people, at greater cost, for lousier plans.
According to the CBO, some 14 million Americans, who now have health insurance for the first time, will lose their coverage under Ryan’s plan. Meanwhile, those who can afford to purchase health insurance will pay more for worse coverage. And Medicaid, which now provides healthcare to 1 in 5 Americans, will soon disappear.
At the same time, while eliminating subsidies and providing lesser care for poorer Americans, the Ryan plan gives a massive tax cut to the wealthiest among us. Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersSanders: Trump budget ‘must be defeated’ The Hill's 12:30 Report Sanders will 'absolutely' work with Trump to lower prescription drug costs MORE (I-Vt.), in fact, has exposed the plan as a “massive shift of wealth from working people and middle-income people to the richest people in the country.” As Sanders told CBS: “It is a $275 billion dollar tax break for the top 2 percent.”
That’s why the American Medical Association, the American Hospital Association, the American Nurses Association, the American Health Care Association and others are all opposed to the Ryan plan. Not because they’re diehard Democrats. But because, as healthcare providers, they know the harm this plan will cause to millions of Americans, especially the poor and most vulnerable.
Which raises the question: Why is Trump supporting this turkey? After all, he owes Ryan nothing. For months, Ryan did not endorse Trump, refused to campaign for Trump, and even disinvited him from a campaign rally after the release of the “Access Hollywood” tape with Trump’s incendiary comments about groping women.
Why hitch his wagon to Ryan’s falling star? Because Trump is no leader. He doesn’t know what’s in the Ryan plan, and he doesn’t care. He just wants to sign a healthcare bill, any bill, so he can brag about it and lie about.
This is the first significant test of Trump’s presidential leadership. He’s failing it, big time.
Press is host of “The Bill Press Show” on Free Speech TV and author of “Buyer’s Remorse: How Obama Let Progressives Down.”