Whether the president and congressional Republicans will intentionally sabotage the Affordable Care Act remains an open question, weeks after Trumpcare failed. But Trump really does seem to have convinced himself that intentionally creating a health insurance market failure will be good politics for him somehow. In an interview with New York Times reporters Maggie Haberman and Glenn Thrush, Trump explained his reasoning.
“Obamacare is not sustainable. It’s over. It will be anywhere from six months to a year. It’s over. It’s over. Now, if I want to deal with Democrats, Glenn, if I want to deal with Democrats, all I have to do is let it go a little further. You know, you have many states now, you have many states coming up where they’re going to have no insurance company. O.K.? It’s already happened in Tennessee. It’s happening in Kentucky. Tennessee only has half coverage. Half the state is gone. They left. But I’d rather solve it in a much better way for the country.”
Let’s take Trump’s two examples as illustrative. Between Tennessee and Kentucky, there are three Democratic Congressmen (out of 15 total) and zero Democratic senators. His theory of politics follows underpants gnome logic.
1. Kick rural, near-poor GOP voters off of their health insurance.
3. Cut a deal with Democrats and win re-election on the issue of health care.
Needless to say, polls show this theory of politics is a bit like using a suicide vest to rob a bank. Everyone would be better off if he just reconsidered.