After a mysterious weeks-long disappearance, Donald Trump's most amusing adviser finally made her resurgence on national television. True to form, she managed to say something wildly outrageous in just a few minutes. During an appearance on Fox and Friends Sunday morning, Kellyanne Conway insulted Americans who are protesting the AHCA and insinuated that those who don't support the Republican legislation have no right to speak up.
"Look, it's easier to jeer from the cheap seats than come up with a message of your own and be honest about the facts," Conway said during the interview. "How did we get here? Why have so many Americans asked for Obamacare to be repealed and replaced? It's because you have premiums that have increased by 40 percent on average."
As infuriating as it is, Conway's entire claim should probably be ignored since it's completely unsourced. It's unclear where Conway got her data, but a Kaiser Family Foundation study found that average family premiums rose 20 percent from 2011 to 2016, which was a much slower rise than the 10 years previous — between 2006 and 2011, premiums rose by 31 percent and between 2001 and 2006, premiums skyrocketed by 63 percent. If Obamacare had never become law, "the average total premium for employer-based family coverage would have been nearly $3,600 higher in 2016," according to a White House press release from last year.
Yet, Conway's statement is ridiculously offensive, and even more so because she didn't responsibly cite her evidence. She used useless and irresponsible statistics to make people feel stupid, like they haven't put enough critical thought into their issue position and need to listen to her instead. However, the political debate over healthcare is a lot easier to decipher than just factual interpretations, in part because Republicans have turned it into such an ideological fight.
Millions of Americans wholeheartedly believe in making sure health care is affordable — for themselves, their loved ones, and the good of the country — and that's why so many people are speaking out against the AHCA. People know where they stand on this issue and aren't just jeering from the "cheap seats" because they have nothing better to do.
The invalidation of constituents' legitimate concerns is becoming a pattern from this administration, like when Donald Trump accused the Tax March of using paid protestors or Jeff Sessions told people they couldn't take a joke after his offensive comments about Hawaii. That's no way to run a country, especially when Trump tries to claim that he's a president for all Americans.
If the Trump administration actually wants to bring the country together, they need a new approach, fast.