President Trump has repeatedly declared that simply allowing the Affordable Care Act to
fail is a potential solution to the health care stand off. Every time I hear or read this, I can’t help thinking of Marie Antoinette, the last queen of France, who when hearing that the people had no bread to eat, declared they should eat cake instead. While it’s not likely that she ever actually said this, the statement stands as an example of her detachment from the plight of her starving people.
Similarly, when President Trump proposes allowing the ACA to fail, he reveals his detachment from the millions of Americans who, with no other option, are relying on the ACA.
The French royalty were too mired in their own excesses and too distracted by the complexities of life at court to think about the people they ruled. Similarly, President Trump retreats to his lavish resorts and has from the beginning of his presidency been distracted by White House intrigues. He is surrounded by family and business leaders rather than experts. As a result, he has yet to provide the governance our country deserves and requires.
Candidate Donald Trump promised Americans a great health care system. This will not be easy and it won’t be fast. We know that now. But it is imperative. According to a 2014 report published by the Commonwealth Fund, the US ranks last among eleven industrialized nations including Canada, France, Germany, and the United Kingdom in patient access to health care and in the delivery of care to patients. This is true in spite of our spending significantly more on health care than any country in the world. Much more.
I can’t think of a more outstanding legacy for any Presidency than motivating government and health care leaders to come together to solve this problem. The President’s complaining, blaming and threatening has not worked, and many Americans are anxiously waiting for reassurance that someone in Washington understands.
Copyright Susan Motley 2017