The Washington Post
By Dana Milbank
On Wednesday, the 335th day of his presidency, Donald J. Trump did something most extraordinary and uncharacteristic. He told the truth.
The president, celebrating his $1.5 trillion tax cut with fellow Republicans at the South Portico of the White House, was midway through his remarks when he veered sharply off message.
“I shouldn’t say this,” Trump said, “but we essentially repealed Obamacare.”
No, he probably shouldn’t have said it. But it’s true. Republicans, in rushing the tax bill to passage, kept fairly quiet about the fact that they were killing the “individual mandate” and thereby removing the engine that made the Affordable Care Act work. In doing so, they threw the health-care system into chaos without offering any remedy. And Trump just claimed paternity of the destruction.
Trump, in a Cabinet meeting earlier Wednesday, let his fleeting encounter with honesty get the better of him when he read aloud the stage directions that called for Republicans not to advertise that they were killing Obamacare. “Obamacare has been repealed in this bill. We didn’t want to bring it up,” he said. “I told people specifically, ‘Be quiet with the fake-news media because I don’t want them talking too much about it.’ Because I didn’t know how people would —.” Trump didn’t finish that thought, but he said he could admit what had been done “now that it’s approved.”
With those admissions now on tape, Trump has officially claimed full ownership of the health-care system for himself and fellow Republicans. Whatever it is now — or isn’t — is Trumpcare.