Owning it

Alice Ollstein at Talking Points Memo makes the zany argument that if you destroy something, people will blame you for destroying it rather than the people who created it. Wild, huh?

As his administration has steadily chipped away at the Affordable Care Act, President Donald Trump has repeatedly insisted that the public will blame the Democratic Party for any health care fallout.

Now, as Republicans in Congress inch towards striking what could be the biggest blow yet to Obamacare—sticking a provision repealing the individual mandate into their tax bill—even some on the right are starting to sweat that the GOP will fully own the issue going forward.

“You can make an argument that Obamacare is falling of its own weight, until we repeal the individual mandate,” a grave-faced Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) told reporters in the halls of the Capitol on Thursday. “I hope every Republican knows that when you pass a repeal of the individual mandate, it’s no longer their problem. It becomes our problem.”

new poll from the Kaiser Family Foundation confirms these fears. More than 60 percent of respondents, including a majority of Republicans, in the think tank’s November tracking poll said that Trump and the GOP are “responsible for any problems” with the Affordable Care Act going forward.

It seems so unfair, doesn’t it? Just because Trump has been shouting his intention to destroy the ACA all along, that’s no reason to blame him or the Republicans when they succeed in doing it.

More Republicans now also blame the Republicans for the demolition job.

That notable shift happened as the Trump administration took a number of blatant actions to undermine the Affordable Care Act—gutting outreach by 90 percent and in-person signup assistance by more than half, abruptly canceling billions in cost-sharing reduction payments to insurers, severing partnerships with dozens of community groups that promoted enrollment, and using the presidential megaphone and agency resources to attack the ACA and predict its imminent demise.

They’re doing all this why? Because they think people should be left without health insurance if they’re not rich. It’s the heart of the Republican creed: rich people are good and everyone else sucks.

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