Health Care On The Razor’s Edge

The score as we’re writing this:

21 Republicans oppose the bill according to The Hill, and a bunch more are undecided. If even one more Republican moves solidly to “no”, the bill will not pass (or more likely, will not be brought to a vote.)

As we’ve been telling you, the main issue is coverage for people with pre-existing conditions. This Talking Points Memo story gives a comprehensive and concise overview. President Trump has repeatedly said pre-existing conditions will be covered, (Trump’s latest: “It will be every bit as good on pre-existing conditions as Obamacare”) but the bill as currently written allows states to opt out and put sick people in high-risk pools which might make their insurance unaffordable.

One conservative Representative, Mo Brooks of Alabama, told CNN the bill supports Americans who maintain healthy lifestyles.

As He Was Saying This, Trump Administration Was Making It Harder For Schoolchildren To Maintain Healthy Lifestyles

Here’s all you have to know: more salt, more fat, fewer whole grains. The Agriculture Department proudly calls the move “Make School Meals Great Again.” The new guidelines roll back healthier meals championed by Michelle Obama. The Trump Administration says they were getting thrown out uneaten because kids didn’t like the healthier food.

What Are The Chances President Trump Is Reading “The Chaos Report?”

Zero would be a good guess. However, in our 2 weeks of existence we have repeatedly exhorted Kim Jong-un to pick up the phone, given Trump’s predilection for chumminess with murderous despots. And Trump’s apparently come around to that same idea, saying he’d be “honored” to meet with the North Korean leader. South Korean media isn’t impressed; one wonderfully sarcastic story starts off: “U.S. President Donald Trump appears to clearly see a positive side of North Korean Kim Jong-un that many others cannot see…”

Meanwhile, a controversial missile defense system went live today in South Korea. Controversial because China doesn’t like it, and Trump says he’s invoicing South Korea $1-billion for it.

President Trump’s Obsession With Andrew Jackson Takes New Twist

Trump asserted his role model would’ve probably prevented the Civil War. Since he sees himself as the modern-day Jackson, not too much of a stretch to say the statement also implies Trump feels he would’ve prevented the Civil War too. As we have pointed out before, a portrait of Jackson, who founded the Democratic Party, watches over Trump in the Oval Office.

(The other, smaller photo is Trump’s father.)

Editorial: The Key To Understanding What President Trump Says

Usually when a President speaks, every word matters. And journalists as well as citizens pay serious attention to every syllable, as they should. But we have entered a new era. As John McCain’s 2008 campaign manager Steve Schmidt recently put it, “This is a president for whom the words really have no meaning.”

Vox has a very helpful article on this, noting Trump made several big-deal comments in just one interview on Monday. He said he would “certainly consider” raising the gas tax, he’d be “honored” to meet Kim Jong-un (as we reported above) and he said he was “looking at breaking up big banks right now.”

But when Trump says these things, it means nothing. Zilch. His standard reply to any policy question is he’s “considering it.” Perhaps he likes to appear omnipotent and in charge of everything. He can’t say “I don’t know anything about it.” (Even when he maybe doesn’t know anything about it. See Health care.)

But when he makes these statements, the media goes berserk, and his comments end up in bold headlines. This made sense for other Presidents. A better approach with Trump is to wait a little and see if he or Congress is actually doing anything to back up his words. In most cases, these are just words and never turn into actions. At The Chaos Report, we will strive to separate the pure talk from what’s really happening.

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