Trump Ally Shocks GOP By Throwing Paul Ryan Under The Bus Over Healthcare

A conservative — and highly influential — Trump ally has a better idea for his friend on healthcare. Ditch Paul Ryan and the Freedom Caucus and embrace universal coverage!

The crony is Chris Ruddy, CEO of the conservative Newsmax media. Newsmax is one of the few media outlets that took a Trump candidacy seriously right from the beginning. Now Ruddy wants to hold Trump to his campaign promise on healthcare. In an op-ed on Wednesday, the media mogul wrote:

Remember that Obama and Trump agreed on the key, positive premise that every American should have access to medical care.

Ruddy is no friend of the current crop of House Republicans. He considers himself a ‘Reagan conservative’ and, in fact, urges his ally Trump not to trust the GOP leadership. He described Paul Ryan’s disastrous healthcare plans — version one and version two — as a ‘political death wish.’  Clearly no fan of the Affordable Care Act, he also wrote:

Our new president could inherit the bad political baggage of both Obamacare and the House Republicans.

So does Ruddy have a better idea? Damn right he does — and it’s pretty darn close to where progressives started out, before they were forced to drop the public option. Namely, this Trump ally lays out a seven-point plan to expand Medicaid and bolster Medicare so that coverage extends to all.

Ready for the Ruddy plan? Here’s his proposal:

  • Ditch the Freedom Caucus and the handful of Senate Republicans who want a complete repeal of Obamacare…” Because they will never agree to universal coverage and will never be placated.
  • “Find a few parts of Ryan Care II that can win passage in the House and Senate… Declare victory.”
  • “Rekindle the bipartisanship in Congress” by empaneling a bipartisan committee to figure out how to fix Obamacare.
  • Use “an upgraded Medicaid system” — rather than the “phony” private health insurance market —to become the basic healthcare program for the uninsured.
  • Require states to pass legislation that creates a “truly nationwide healthcare market” and make Medicaid funding dependent on such laws.
  • Pass “modest tort reform”  with the help of Democrats to  lower medical costs.
  • Layer some private options, like health savings accounts, onto the basic coverage for those who can afford them.

Will it work? There are powerful forces aligned against such reform, not the least of which is the insurance industry — a segment of the economy for which businessman Ruddy has little use. He described why:

As a conservative, I have a real problem with the so-called ‘private health market.’

Healthcare is regulated by states, and many states have allowed private insurance companies to operate like a racket.

In many states there is no free, competitive market for health insurance since they limit the number of operators, creating near monopolies.

The Week notes that Chris Ruddy has Trump’s ear and is a closer ally than anyone in Congress. A confidant of Trump’s for 20 years, the newsman has been described as “an unofficial conduit” between the presidency and the outside world. Certainly Ruddy and his Newsmax organization did more to help Trump ascend to the presidency than anyone in Congress ever dreamed of doing.

Obviously, the CEO is hoping he can keep nudging his friend back to bucking the GOP establishment, as he did in order to win the party’s nomination. If Ruddy succeeds, the country stands to win.

In the meantime, concerned citizens might want to send their two cents worth to the White House in support of universal healthcare coverage.

As an aside, Paul Ryan presents his ill-considered healthcare proposals here:

Feature photo, Paul Ryan screenshot from YouTube video.

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Deborah Montesano

Deborah Montesano is a longtime political activist and blogger. She learned to fight against impossible odds by living for years in Arizona, but recently relocated to the more progressive-friendly city of Portland, Oregon. Find her on Facebook at facebook.com/thepoliticali/ or on Twitter @thepoliticali_1.

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