After an important victory for Trumpcare with the House of Representatives passing the American Health Care Act this afternoon, President Donald Trump took to the White House Rose Garden for a celebration. During his victory speech, he offered up a little gem of a quote. Turns out that like many Americans, Trump also cannot believe that he is president.
"How am I doing? Am I doing OK? Hey, I'm president. I'm president. Can you believe it?" he asked, right in the middle of his speech in the garden.
During his victory lap, Trump was surrounded by a group of mostly white men who had just passed a bill that will strip many Americans of health care coverage — including defunding Planned Parenthood, which provides necessary reproductive care to millions of low-income women each year.
The American Health Care Act (AHCA) passed in the House on Thursday by a vote of 217 to 213. The passed legislation was a revised version of the bill that didn't make it to vote in March after Republicans realized that they wouldn't have enough support for it to pass. The latest form of the bill leans more conservative and includes the MacArthur amendment, which allows states to opt out of providing Obama-protected health care basics and decide what state plans should include.
One such Obamacare protection that is now being threatened is the inability to be denied coverage because of a pre-existing condition. Through the AHCA, this protection isn't directly abolished, but it does allow insurance companies to price coverage for pre-existing conditions at a much higher rate.
Under the AHCA, pre-existing conditions include things like rape, postpartum depression, cesarean sections, and domestic violence, and a lot of other "conditions." According to New York Magazine, companies will also have the power to deny coverage for gynecological services and mammograms.
Given the pretty obvious horrors of the AHCA bill, it's a disturbing image to see the president of the United States so cheery at the White House, touting it as a major victory for the Republican Party. The "Can you believe I'm president?" line is an inappropriate response to passing a bill that will likely negatively affect Americans who voted for him.
Next, the AHCA will travel to the Senate for a vote, where it may face some pushback. Critics of the bill maintain that it was rushed through the House, so they're certainly going to fight to have a more thorough discussion and debate of the bill before it goes to vote in the Senate.