TRUMP'S CONTEMPT FOR THE DISABLED.

AuthorErvin, Mike
PositionSMART ASS CRIPPLE - President Donald Trump's behavior

About three months before the last presidential election in 2016, a Bloomberg poll revealed that, of the countless crass and cement-headed things candidate Donald Trump had said and done, the one that likely voters found most disturbing was his mocking of disabled reporter Serge Kovaleski. At one of his rallies, Trump impersonated Kovaleski, who had dared to ask him challenging questions, by spazzing out and garbling his speech. It was Trump juvenile jokesterism at its peak.

I still don't know why so many people were shocked by this. I wasn't. Remember that this is the same guy whose idea of a real zinger is to accuse someone of having a low IQ. He's hurled that doozy at Joe Biden, Maxine Waters, Robert De Niro, and many others.

Sadly, even Trumps Kovaleski schtick didn't stop enough people from voting for him. And his lowbrow humor at the expense of people with disabilities was a harbinger of things to come. In the ensuing four years, Trump and his weakling enablers on Capitol Hill have treated disabled folks with contempt. His deeds, much more than his stupid mockery, are what offend me most.

One of the first things Trump and the Republicans tried doing to screw disabled people was obliterate the Affordable Care Act. While the ACA is far from being the best of all possible health-care plans, it does ban health insurers from refusing to provide coverage for people with pre-existing conditions--e.g., disabilities. It also prohibits private insurers from putting annual or lifetime limits on how much they will pay to cover the expenses of an insured individual.

These are important breakthroughs because being disabled can be God-awful expensive. Disabled folks often need wheelchairs, ventilators, specialized medical attention, and other pricey stuff like that. But this annoying neediness cuts into the enormous profits that are the health insurance industry's reason for being. So prior to the ACA, private insurers were free to outright deny us coverage or to slap lifetime spending caps on our plans.

When Trump started out, the House of Representatives was under Republican control and the Speaker of the House was Paul Ryan, whose spirit animal has to be a weasel. So ACA repeal legislation quickly passed the House.

Trump said he was eager to sign it but, thank God, he never got his chance because the bill failed to pass the Senate by one measly vote, after three Republican Senators joined all the Democrats in voting against it.

I like to think...

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