Trump's callous health care order will haunt the GOP in 2018

Trump's callous health care order will haunt the GOP in 2018
© Getty Images

Regardless of political parties, did Americans think they would ever see a president of this great country take deliberately cynical action to hurt its citizens? This obscene scenario has now become a reality.

Donald TrumpDonald TrumpProject Veritas surveilled government officials to expose anti-Trump sentiments: report Cheney: Fox News has 'a particular obligation' to refute election fraud claims The Memo: What now for anti-Trump Republicans? MORE took steps last week to take away the health care subsidies used to help low-income Americans pay for their health care plan on the Affordable Care Act exchanges.


It was a petty, vindictive move that takes millions of low-income Americans hostage to Trump’s petty and pernicious retribution. It also gives Americans another reason to kick Republicans out of power in 2018.


Morally, Americans are disgusted. Republicans should be as well, and common-sense Republicans are. Sen. Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsMasks shed at White House; McConnell: 'Free at last' Senate GOP dismayed by vote to boot Cheney The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Cheney poised to be ousted; Biden to host big meeting MORE (R-Maine) did not mince words when she said Trump’s actions would directly hurt her constituents. She clearly does not support such a callous move, nor should any elected official who represents the best interests of his or her voters.

Ironically, Trump’s cruel intentions take aim directly at many of his supporters. According to news reports, 70 percent of Americans that will be directly affected by ending the cost-sharing subsidies live in states that Trump won last November.

Many of those citizens are already very concerned with how Trump’s heartless actions will affect their premiums as they are predicted to skyrocket in the months to come.

According to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), Trump’s actions will cause premiums to soar 20 percent and even more in 2020 and beyond, increasing upwards of 25 percent.

It would also cause the deficit to soar by 194 billion from 2017 to 2026, because larger federal subsidies would have to cover the lost cost-sharing subsidies.

It is a spiteful sabotage of ObamaCare, a program that, up until now, had been able to withstand the numerous deliberate attacks Trump has waged since becoming president.

Contrary to a favorite but misguided Republican talking point, ObamaCare is not "collapsing under its own weight.” Many experts had indeed declared that the ACA was stabilizing, and insurers were starting to regain profitability.

That was before the bomb Trump dropped on the ACA on Friday. I guess he realized that all of his past attempts at single-handedly destroying the law were not working. 

Trump and many Republicans are covering their hideously cold and heartless efforts by insisting they are merely keeping a “popular” campaign promise that helped them all get elected.

What they don’t understand is that while it may have been a beloved campaign slogan, the reality has not caught up with them.

It turns out the ACA is much more popular than any of the horrific, unworkable Republican plans that have been floated.

It turns out the ACA has actually slowed the increase in the cost curve of health care, keeping the existing premium increases much lower than they would have been without the ACA in place. It turns out that in addition to saving millions of dollars, the ACA has saved millions of lives.

No wonder this latest destructive action prompted withering but well-deserved criticism from editorial boards across the country, panning the move as cruel, unnecessary and extremely dangerous to the most vulnerable Americans — seniors, people with pre-existing conditions and low-income Americans — many of whom were Trump supporters.

It has also drawn the ire of patients’ groups, doctors, health-care associations, providers and health-care advocates. They know just how detrimental and insidious these Trump administration moves have been.

The American people do too.

There is a reason why Democrats now hold an 11-point advantage in the congressional generic ballot. There is a reason Emily’s List now has a record 18,000 women running for office. People are outraged, and they will hold Republicans and Trump accountable.

Americans prefer their leaders work together to keep and strengthen ObamaCare instead of repealing it or letting it die by a thousand cuts.

In fact, by letting it wither on the vine, Americans will die in the process, and that is not what members of Congress or the president were elected to do.

If congressional Republicans do not realize they need to protect Americans, they will turn on them as they have already turned on Trump.

Maybe then the 2018 Democratic majority will be able to work with the Republicans left standing to ensure American lives are protected and the will of the people is finally upheld.

Maria Cardona is a principal at the Dewey Square Group, a Democratic strategist and a CNN/CNN Español political commentator. Follow her on Twitter @MariaTCardona.