The joke is on voters who trusted Trump’s healthcare promises


Oh, that Donald Trump; what a comedian! After spending a year on the campaign trail scoffing at the upbeat jobs numbers put out by the Obama administration, he is now boasting about the latest jobs numbers coming from the same sources.

When asked about this convenient contradiction during a news briefing, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said Trump had told him to offer this explanation: “They may have been phony in the past, but it’s very real now.” That got a good laugh from the reporters in the room. Even Spicer grinned.

Now, in an even more hilarious turnabout, Trump is discounting the Congressional Budget Office analysis that has determined the House Republican healthcare plan will, over time, reduce the total of insured Americans by 24 million. Trump rejects the CBO’s analysis because he has embraced the GOP healthcare bill as his own. That is very different from the way he, as a candidate, cited CBO numbers as if they were gospel when they made Obama look bad.

Monday, during the daily White House media scrum, NBC’s Peter Alexander got into a testy exchange with Spicer over the president’s very elastic and self-serving use of facts. First, they sparred about Trump’s unsupported allegation that Obama had wiretapped Trump Tower. Spicer tried to pretend that Trump’s allegation had not been a very specific and personal attack on the former president. Then they argued about the CBO’s healthcare estimates.

After Spicer had finished his verbal pretzel making, Alexander asked, “Can you say affirmatively that whenever the president says something, we can trust it to be real?”

“If he’s not joking,” Spicer said.

Well, an agile comedian can always find a gullible chump to be the object of his humor and, in the case of healthcare, the butt of Trump’s joke is the older, white working-class voter who cheered loudly when candidate Trump guaranteed insurance coverage for every American. “Everybody’s going to be taken care of much better than they’re taken care of now,” Trump said in the early days of the campaign, a promise he continued to repeat. Under his magical, imaginary scheme, premiums would go down and Medicaid would not be cut.

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The joke is on voters who trusted Trump’s healthcare promises

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