Trumpcare delivered a crushing blow to the already broken wing of abuse survivors.
It said without a doubt that the abusers are in charge. They are empowered. And they are coming for victims.
Women marched with p*ssy hats because they knew that Donald Trump, as a proud abuser of women, would do things like he and the House Republicans just did – punish women legislatively; that is to say, punish victims of his own abuses.
And so he has. It should not be missed that House Republicans, the Freedom Caucus specifically, demanded these changes in the MacArthur-Meadows Amendment in Trumpcare, like the preexisting condition clause that would allow insurers in some states to deny health insurance to victims who have been raped, molested, or assaulted by a partner. There is also a waiver that would allow states to deny essential health benefits, including mental health treatment.
There’s no getting around the fact that Republicans elected a man who they heard bragging about sexual assault on tape, he’s now pushing what he hopes to be his legacy healthcare bill, and it punishes the victims and serves to chill their reporting of the same kinds of assault he’s been accused of and bragged about.
This is a feature, not a bug.
Women who have been assaulted know this. It’s why they had such a visceral reaction to Donald Trump, long before that Access Hollywood tape proved beyond any shadow of a doubt that the women coming forward to accuse him of various assaults were not alone in their experience.
This matters, it matters that people get this. The private act of grabbing women by the p*ssy and thinking it was his right to do so, the private act of leering at a young girl and saying he would be dating her one day, the public act of talking about his daughter Ivanka in alarmingly sexual terms — these things all signaled the assault on women that is Trumpcare.
It’s not specifically ideology that makes certain women recoil from Donald Trump. The Women’s March was full of people of different political identities, and yet the value they marched for was a liberal Democratic one. That is, respect for women and all “others”.
If Republicans’ attempt to turn the Violence Against Women Act into a piece of legislation that would have incentivized rape and assault against women wasn’t a tell, if their constant attacks on women’s medical freedom weren’t a tell, if their attempts to give rapists the control they seek wasn’t a tell, Trumpcare is the final tell.
Republicans are often on the legislative side of the criminal predator. Somehow they manage to defend and protect criminal predators of women again and again, while denying that they are waging a war on women.
Trumpcare sides with the men who assault and abuse women by punishing women further for having been a victim – what a tasty morsel for any abuser, the pleasure of knowing the pain they inflicted continues.
Trumpcare takes us back to the days before Obamacare, when rape and abuse victims were afraid to report the crime because they didn’t want to lose their health insurance.
Who does that help? It helps the criminal. And of course it’s not just women who are victims of sexual abuse and assault. Men are as well.
Trumpcare rewards men who sexually and physically attack their victims, and that is not a bug. It’s a feature.
I conclude this because Republicans are so proud to have passed Trumpcare without any real debate. Without any town halls. Without any input from actual healthcare experts, apparently. And they took this action because it was more important to repeal Obamacare and pass something for Trump to have a win than it was to try to actually put a decent piece of legislation together.
It was more important to give Donald Trump a win than it was to help people.
It was more important to give Donald Trump a win than it was to listen to the people they supposedly represent.
It was more important to give Donald Trump a win because that is how Trump operates. He’s a predator. A man who thinks only of himself. A man who punishes those who speak out against his abuses (for evidence, see his trail of victims).
Sadly, House Republicans gave Trump the ability to inflict his sickness on women and victims once again. That implicates all who voted for Trumpcare in being not just a participant in the war on women, but an enabler who rewards predators around the country.
Women were already suffering from Trump Traumatic Stress Syndrome. Trumpcare is another punch to the gut that says not only do women not matter, but women are to be punished for being assaulted. They do not deserve care because they are victim of a crime. They will literally have to pay even more now for being assaulted.
This punishment isn’t an accident. Republicans don’t get to pass a piece of huge legislation without debate — figuratively in the dark of night — and then claim they just overlooked parts of it and that was an accident. No, this was their choice and the own it.
Just like Republicans passed this with the alleged oopsie that gives them Obamacare while giving the rest of the country Trumpcare.
Their intentions are in the bill; not in their words. We know this because their words told us that Donald Trump admitting to sexual assault was just locker room talk, but Trumpcare proves once again why it matters that the people who represent us don’t take pleasure in harming us.
Republicans also told us that the war on women is not real. Republicans claim to be pro-life. None of those things are true, either, according to this bill. This bill that they are so proud of, this bill that they cheered and celebrated over.
Unless Republicans are so horrible at their jobs and so incompetent that they just took aim at a fifth of the U.S. economy without any thought, these buried gotchas are a feature, not a bug. Given the totality of the evidence and the failure to show any interest in the most basic concerns facing women, logic leads me right back to this was a deliberate choice.
Trumpcare is yet another assault on women from the p*ssy grabber in chief. Another way to silence victims. Another attack on victims.
Politics is supposed to be about representing the people. But every 98 seconds, someone in this country is sexually abused. Those people could be denied health coverage for their lifetime if Trumpcare were to pass as House Republicans wrote it.
This isn’t about impugning motives, although somehow it escapes notice that Republicans impugn women’s motives regularly (e.g., women want to get an abortion for the free trip to the city!) and don’t bother asking for comment from women; it’s about why it matters when someone who is running for office says and does things that indicate that they do not respect the human rights of the people they will be representing. The at best careless-once-again-in-a-way-that-harms women legislation speaks for Trump and House Republicans. This is why women speak of a war on women.
Republicans knew Trumpcare could harm victims and took no action to remedy that, and then celebrated their bill. We are told that Republicans in the Senate won’t pass this monstrosity, but I have lost faith in the word of Republicans and their commitment to process, given the Senate’s willingness to change the rules in order to steal a SCOTUS seat for a president who is currently under investigation for possible collusion with Russia.
Either way, this bill demonstrates the way Republicans treat women legislatively.
Ms. Jones is the co-founder/ editor-in-chief of PoliticusUSA and a member of the White House press pool.
Sarah hosts Politicus News and co-hosts Politicus Radio. Her analysis has been featured on several national radio, television news programs and talk shows, and print outlets including Stateside with David Shuster, as well as The Washington Post, The Atlantic Wire, CNN, MSNBC, The Week, The Hollywood Reporter, and more.
Sarah is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.
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