During his press conference yesterday at his golf club, the President announced he’d be signing s series of executive orders (EOs) over the next several weeks. Almost all of these are actions that are outside his authority to take. One in particular, however, has drawn a lot of derision.
#BREAKING: President Trump announces executive order on pre-existing conditions: "I'll be pursuing a major executive order requiring health insurance companies to cover pre-existing conditions for all of its customers." pic.twitter.com/iOQH5kKILg
— The Hill (@thehill) August 8, 2020
It was then trumpeted by several surrogates in both the administration and the campaign:
Huge news just now – @realDonaldTrump announces upcoming EO to cover pre-existing conditions. Big, big, big news.
— Jason Miller (@JasonMillerinDC) August 7, 2020
THIS. IS. LEADERSHIP.@realDonaldTrump just announced that he’s going to sign an upcoming Executive Order to cover pre-existing conditions.
— J. Hogan Gidley (@JHoganGidley) August 8, 2020
The response have ranged from the humorous to the fully sarcastic:
Next up, Donald to announce he’ll extend voting rights to POC… https://t.co/BVzEj8AYl5
— David Cay Johnston (@DavidCayJ) August 8, 2020
You like this? Wait until I tell you what Barack Obama did!
— Janet Johnson (@JJohnsonLaw) August 8, 2020
BREAKING: Trump writes memo about thing that Obama already made law 10 years ago.
— The Hoarse Whisperer (@HoarseWisperer) August 8, 2020
The ACA literally is still the law: right now. It remains the law of the land.
Do I really have to explain basic law to you? https://t.co/TzKfs2tSsn
— Bradley P. Moss (@BradMossEsq) August 8, 2020
This is not a joke, nor should it be treated as one. If you think it is a joke, you’ve missed the point. This, like so many other things I keep pointing out here, is a type of influence operation. What most Americans, even those of us who are hyper-vigilant when it comes to political news and information about health insurance because we’ve got Dave Anderson keeping us informed here every day, either don’t know or don’t remember is that THERE ARE A LOT OF HEALTH INSURANCE PLANS THAT WERE PITCHED AT BOTH TRUMP SUPPORTERS, LOW INFORMATION AMERICANS, AND LESS AFFLUENT AMERICANS THAT DO NOT COVER PRE-EXISTING CONDITIONS!!!!!!!
And the reason that these health care plans exist is because Republican elected officials complained about them not existing from the time the Affordable Care Act, now doing business as ObamaCare, passed. They had a screwy version of them in their nebulous replace plan that they were allegedly going to pass after they passed repeal, which would then, supposedly, force them to actually introduce something that could be called a replacement bill. And they exist because the President signed an executive order allowing for them when the Republican efforts to repeal and replace the ACA failed in 2017.
NOTE: Trump expanded health plans that *exclude coverage for pre-existing conditions*
They are called "short-term" plans but Trump allowed them to be extended for years.
United Healthcare notes these plans *do not have coverage requirements* pic.twitter.com/AzP3aJPVDY
— Steven Dennis (@StevenTDennis) August 8, 2020
Trump has signed an executive order encouraging cheap insurance plans that aren't subject to Obamacare rules: https://t.co/UzzyqJUVYV
— MarketWatch (@MarketWatch) October 12, 2017
President Donald Trump signed an executive order Thursday directing federal agencies to consider expanding health-insurance coverage in low-cost plans that are not subject to Affordable Care Act rules, a move that could raise costs for sicker people.
The order is designed to provide what the White House calls “alternatives” to plans offered through Obamacare markets. It comes after the implosion last month of Republicans’ latest attempt to dismantle President Barack Obama’s signature health-care law, a chief policy goal that Trump and GOP lawmakers campaigned on.
Speaking before signing the order at a White House ceremony, Trump said consumers “will have so many options.”
“People will have great, great health care,” he added.
Everyone who is making fun of the President’s announcement or his administration, campaign, and media surrogates doing victory laps about this on social media because they think it is a joke since it is already the law because of the Affordable Care Act need to sober up because they have missed the point. It is not a joke, it is a psychological operation aimed by the President, his administration, his campaign, and his surrogates, included Republican elected officials at Americans (emphasis mine):
Psychological operations (PSYOP) are planned operations to convey selected information and indicators to foreign audiences to influence the emotions, motives, objective reasoning, and ultimately the behavior of foreign governments, organizations, groups, and individuals.
The real objective of this executive order is not to ensure that insurance plans cover people with pre-existing conditions. Rather, the objective is to convince Republicans and conservatives who have hated the ACA/Obamacare, especially those that don’t know what is in it because they don’t want to because it is Obama’s plan. It is also targeted at less affluent and lower information Americans who have internalized the misinformation and agitprop about the ACA/Obamacare that Republican elected and appointed officials and conservative elites and notables have been pushing through conservative news, digital news, and social media for a decade and, as a result, actually believe that any plan that they could purchase through the ACA/Obamacare is both prohibitively expensive and does not actually cover anything because the policies are full of loopholes! And who were gullible enough to then buy one of the short term plans created by the President 17 October 2017 EO. This is the target audience. The better informed ones don’t care that the Administration is supporting the Republican Attorneys General’s lawsuit trying to have the entire ACA struck down, which would actually remove the pre-existing condition protections in the law for everyone in the US not on one of these short term plans. And the low information ones simply don’t know. What they know of current political events, including what is going on with health insurance, is either very little or is filtered through their local news, where Sinclair has an overwhelming influence and impact, or their or their families’ and friends’ social media, which means it is highly influence by Fox News, OANN, Breitbart, Gateway Pundit, the Daily Caller, and dozens more purveyors of misinformation, disinformation, and agitprop.
This is NOT A JOKE! It is an influence operation intended to further solidify a base that the President’s campaign leadership is worried might get shaky, the larger Republican party and conservative movement, which is a bit wobbly right now, and less affluent and low information Americans, especially low information voters, who will see or hear or read this and think the President has done something good for them.
That’s not the joke, that’s the point.