The race for America’s Next Top Jerk continues to get tighter after this week in Washington. And if politicians are going to continue acting like they’re fighting for an Elite modeling contract and the cover of Hates Poors Weekly, we’re going to continue recapping them as such. So what drama unfolded this week?
Trump (Doesn’t) Care
The Republicans revealed their long-awaited replacement of the Affordable Care Act, and it is...terrible. It’s just like Sheree on Real Housewives of Atlanta talking up her big fashion show, and then everyone gets there to find no actual clothes. Only here, clothes are reasonably priced health plans for Americans who need insurance.
This new plan is being called the American Health Care Act, Trumpcare, Ryancare, DiePennilessInTheStreetCare, and according to Congress’ official website, the “World’s Greatest Healthcare Plan of 2017.” Trump would prefer we don’t call it Trumpcare, which is probably only the second time he didn’t want his name on something (after Tiffany).
What actually is in this shiny new healthcare-reform bill? Mostly higher prices, cuts on women’s health services, and fewer options for low-income Americans. For now, some aspects of the Affordable Care Act will remain, like being able to stay on your parents’ plan until you are 26. Medicaid will remain mostly the same until 2020, and you cannot be denied coverage for pre-existing conditions.
The biggest issue is that this bill will make health insurance even more unaffordable, by cutting the tax credits that helped low-income customers pay their premiums. Conversely, people with such high income that they previously didn’t qualify for tax breaks would now get them. You know, so they can keep up with their Mar-a-Lago membership dues.
An iPhone a day keeps the doctor away.
J.C. Phone Home
To explain how people should manage their finances and healthcare costs, House Oversight Committee Chair and hair-gel enthusiast Jason Chaffetz said, “Maybe rather than getting that new iPhone, that they just love and they want to go spend hundreds of dollars on that, maybe they should invest in their own health care.” This statement upholds a long Republican tradition of blaming the poor for their circumstances, while simultaneously exacerbating the systemic injustices that leave people in disadvantaged positions in the first place. Cool, thanks!
Jason, an iPhone costs about $700. My last back surgery cost $40,000. We all know the old saying, “An iPhone a day keeps the doctor away” — and that’s about as many as you’d have to buy for these costs to be comparable. The cost of an iPhone is barely enough to cover the hospital gown I accidentally put on backwards (note: surgeons don’t judge if you missed a few wax appointments). If the Republicans can create a system where $700 covers medical bills, premiums, and out of pocket expenses for a year (or until your next upgrade), then maybe we’ll let this totally ignorant comment slide. Until then, I don’t know — does AppleCare cover birth control?
Getting The Ban Back Together
Not to be outdone by the draconian healthcare bill, this week the White House announced that its discriminatory travel ban will also be replaced by a nearly identical law. It’s like the travel ban had its own personal version of The Swan but all they did was put on a little extra lipstick and send it right back out virtually unchanged.
Hawaii, Oregon, and other states are picking up where Washington left off, filing lawsuits over the ban’s unconstitutionality. Fighting to protect families of Americans both at home and currently abroad is turning into some kind of bizarre relay race, where each state runs one leg, but they're all trying to do the same thing. It could actually be an Olympic sport except that the ban itself would prevent other countries from participating.
Women’s Day Out
Wednesday marked International Women’s Day. So all of the women in the world got a day off from working harder, being disrespected or harmed, and living with fewer rights, to put their feet up and snack on mochi all day. Lolz, just kidding. We’ll see Bethenny Frankel and Jill Zarin become besties again before that’s even .1% true.
Across the country and world, many women went on strike to prove how much the economy would lose without their participation. The strike was a tricky moment for many women, who had to factor in lost wages, child care for the day, or feeling that even the way we protest is held to impossible standards.
With his infinitesimal grasp of irony, Trump celebrated International Women’s Day with a tweet that he definitely wrote all by himself. Then he went back to taking away women’s health care, legislating against international abortion rights, and generally piling on current-day foolishness to distract from his misogynistic past. Maybe he took one or two lucky ladies furniture shopping to honor their big day. At least his tweet was better than Putin’s.
Only Fools Russia In
Russia has really turned into the season-long dramatic storyline of this administration. Every week a little more comes out. We can only hope Andy Cohen brings Putin himself to the three-part reunion episode to cry and finally clear the air.
The hot goss* this week? Trump campaign advisor Roger Stone was in contact with a Russian hacker DURING the election. Stone and the hacker, called Guccifer 2.0, communicated via Twitter direct messages. First of all, any mildly functional adult knows that nothing good comes from sliding into the DMs. That’s exclusively for eggplant emoji and spambots. Second, Guccifer 2.0 couldn’t sound like a less safe account name for a politician to interact with. It sounds like a low-rate Ashley Madison. Stone should be so lucky as to only be embroiled in a snoozy extramarital affair and not on the hook for what sure smells like treason.
Donald Trump invited Ted Cruz and his wife to dinner at the White House, despite a years-long standoff between the two that even included insulting each other’s wives on social media. I wonder if they served soup.
This guy wants to tax the sun. Yeah, the sun.
Sean Spicer claimed that Trump was completely unaware that General Michael Flynn was a foreign agent. Someone here is lying, and it could literally be all of them at this point.
*You guys can all do what you want, but in my world, “hot goss” is here to stay. You know, hot goss, like finding out the government has been completely corrupted by Russia!
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