Trump Wants To Repeal Obamacare. Again. | Crooked Media
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November 29, 2023
What A Day
Trump Wants To Repeal Obamacare. Again.

In This Episode

  • Donald Trump threatened to replace the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, if he wins the 2024 presidential election. Trump took to social media over the weekend to post that he is “seriously looking at alternatives” to it, and on Monday, President Biden said in a statement: “My predecessor once again called for cuts that could rip away health insurance for tens of millions of Americans…They just don’t give up.”
  • Hunter Biden told lawmakers on Tuesday that he is willing to publicly testify before Congress next month. That comes after House Republicans subpoenaed him as part of their impeachment inquiry into President Biden, an investigation that has not turned up any evidence that President Biden benefited from Hunter’s business dealings.
  • And in headlines: Hamas released 12 additional hostages in exchange for Israel’s release of more Palestinian prisoners, the Koch network formally endorsed Nikki Haley for the GOP presidential nomination, and New York House Representative George Santos could be expelled from Congress as early as this week.

 

Show Notes:

 

 

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TRANSCRIPT

 

Priyanka Aribindi: It’s Wednesday, November 29th. I’m Priyanka Aribindi.

 

Juanita Tolliver: And I’m Juanita Tolliver and this is What a Day hosted by two authentic humans. 

 

Priyanka Aribindi: Unlike a tech conference that was just canceled, some of the featured women speakers were actually generated by A.I.. 

 

Juanita Tolliver: I promise there were human women available to speak at this conference. I promise you didn’t need to generate anything. 

 

Priyanka Aribindi: Listen, one place you’ll never catch AI? This here program. Nuh uh, not about it. [music break] On today’s show, we’ll tell you more about that conference. Plus, we’ll explain the drama of Hunter Biden saying that he’ll testify before congressional Republicans, but only in public. 

 

Juanita Tolliver: But first, Trump has been spewing more threats and plans for retribution if he wins the 2024 presidential election. And this time he is zeroing in on the Affordable Care Act or Obamacare, if you please. You know the plan where 40 million Americans accessed their health care coverage as of early 2023?

 

Priyanka Aribindi: Yeah, that one. 

 

Juanita Tolliver: You can’t forget it. Can’t miss it. 

 

Priyanka Aribindi: Mm mm. 

 

Juanita Tolliver: A few days ago, Trump took to social media to post that he is, quote, “seriously looking at alternatives” to the 13 year old Affordable Care Act and that his fellow Republicans “should never give up seeking its repeal.” I mean, this man is truly unhinged. 

 

Priyanka Aribindi: We all know he is truly unhinged, but also just yet another wild stance to have to be like, let’s take away this thing that gives 40 million people health care. Something that is objectively good. But it all fits in in the puzzle of the Republican platform. But anyways, how are folks been responding to, you know, Trump’s latest threats about the ACA? 

 

Juanita Tolliver: Naturally, Democrats seized on it as a split screen opportunity to show how Trump is looking to harm people while Biden is lowering health care costs and lowering the cost of medications and prescriptions. 

 

Priyanka Aribindi: Right. 

 

Juanita Tolliver: On Monday, the president made a statement saying, quote, “My predecessor once again called for cuts that could rip away health insurance for tens of millions of Americans. They just don’t give up.” Additionally, the Biden campaign is set to run ads this week with a similar message in Nevada and across cable channels. And based on this rapid response approach from the Biden campaign. I bet we can expect this type of response every single time Trump says something harmful during the next 11 months. 

 

Priyanka Aribindi: Yes. So what about Republicans here? Would they ever take this up in Congress? What do we think will happen? 

 

Juanita Tolliver: I mean, Republicans have been coy when asked about Trump’s comments, saying that they don’t know what he’s talking about. And, of course, this is all tied to Republicans’ failed attempt to repeal the ACA back in 2017, which feels like a lifetime ago, because that was back when– 

 

Priyanka Aribindi: Yeah truly. 

 

Juanita Tolliver: You know, Republicans controlled all of Washington. They had the White House, they had the Senate, they had the House of Representatives. And in spite of all of that, they still couldn’t repeal the ACA. But that doesn’t mean that the door is closed here. As Republican Minority whip, Senator John Thune said, quote, “If he’s got some ideas, we’re open to them.” 

 

Priyanka Aribindi: Goody. [laughter] So what if Trump wins and gets his wish of ending the ACA? You know, who does this impact? I imagine the 40 million people. But break it down for us. Who is covered by the ACA?

 

Juanita Tolliver: Considering that Obamacare included not only the marketplace, but also Medicaid expansion programs, that 40 million includes 22.3 million people in low income households who would be impacted and 15.6 million people who access health care via the marketplace would also lose their coverage. According to data from the Kaiser Family Foundation, Black people, Latino people and Indigenous people, the same populations that saw massive increases in access to insurance via the health care marketplace will face a disproportionate amount of harm if this kind of extreme policy change is realized. So if it wasn’t already clear, people, if he wins in 2024, Trump is going to not only continue to push to take away critical policies like the Affordable Care Act and punish his political opponents, but he’s going to reignite that dumpster fire of harm that, you know, he started back in 2016. 

 

Priyanka Aribindi: Yeah, absolutely. Thank you so much for the warning. Just another thing to look out for. But switching gears a bit, we have a new development in the Hunter Biden saga, speaking of um things that Republicans will simply not give up on. In a response to a subpoena from House Republicans as part of their impeachment inquiry into President Biden, a sideshow that is still going on. Yesterday, President Biden’s son, Hunter, told lawmakers that he was willing to publicly testify next month. Many of you may recall that Hunter Biden’s various business dealings and legal troubles have long been a focal point for House Republicans who are looking to impeach President Biden. Earlier this month, as part of that impeachment inquiry, House Republicans issued subpoenas to both Biden’s son, Hunter, and his brother James. And in response to that request for him to testify privately, Hunter Biden’s lawyer says that he wants to do it in public so that Republicans can’t twist his words or selectively release bits and pieces of what he says. All things we have come to expect. Makes sense. 

 

Juanita Tolliver: I kind of love the way he’s trying to one up Republicans at their own game. Come on now. What has the response to all of this been so far? 

 

Priyanka Aribindi: You can guess how this went over with Republicans. Republican Representative James Comer, who is the chair of the House Oversight Committee, where this impeachment inquiry is currently rattling around shot this idea down very quickly. They do not like being bested at their own game. He said that Hunter was, quote, “trying to play by his own rules.” But, you know, this is a new more aggressive tack by Hunter Biden and his legal team, who claim that their past offers to meet with the oversight Committee to discuss the basis of this inquiry to provide relevant information or to expedite its conclusions, have all been left unanswered. 

 

Juanita Tolliver: Yeah, because they don’t have any evidence. They don’t have any basis of inquiry. 

 

Priyanka Aribindi: Right. 

 

Juanita Tolliver: At all. 

 

Priyanka Aribindi: Right. That is the spoiler alert here. I mean, the benefits of appearing publicly are very straightforward. It reduces the ability of Republicans in the far right media ecosystem to misrepresent his testimony versus if he testified behind closed doors, doesn’t mean they still won’t try to do it. But, you know, it becomes a bit more difficult when that testimony is there for everyone to see. The format also gives each member of the committee time to question the witness, and it alternates by party. So, you know, Republicans can go down one line of questioning, but Democrats would be able to rebut those points in real time. So there are definite benefits to the public format. 

 

Juanita Tolliver: And it makes sense that Hunter’s trying to avoid being used as a campaign tool against his father so everyone can bring up the receipts. But so far, how well has Hunter Biden as a topic played out for Republicans? 

 

Priyanka Aribindi: Yeah, that’s a good point. You know, not everybody thinks that having Hunter Biden front and center, especially as we head into 2024, is a particularly great idea. Just as a reminder, the investigation by House Republicans, as you said, has not turned up any evidence that President Biden benefited from Hunter’s business dealings. But Republicans have spent quite a lot of time portraying Hunter Biden as, you know, this boogeyman. We’ve heard about him, his laptops, his business dealings, all of these things for years now. So much so that, according to a recent AP NORC poll, 68% of voters believe that Joe Biden acted either unethically or illegally when it came to Hunter’s business dealings. And, you know, as we just said, this committee has found zero evidence. They have been working for quite a while trying to find some, but they don’t have any that that happened. But still, 68% of voters believe that. So, I mean, definitely risks that come with doing this publicly, especially this close to the election. 

 

Juanita Tolliver: Yeah, but I also want a reality set on who’s paying attention to this. 

 

Priyanka Aribindi: Right. 

 

Juanita Tolliver: I think it’s limited to, you know, GOP primary voters who’ve latched on to this. But beyond that, I don’t think anybody’s dialed in. But what’s going to happen next here? 

 

Priyanka Aribindi: Yeah, I mean, so far, that remains to be seen. Republicans originally scheduled this private testimony for December 13th. As of now, that is still how they want to do it. The point you made is very important. You know, when this started and when it was really kicking up, this was a big story. But there are so many things happening now that have just completely overshadowed this that I mean, rightly have overshadowed this, are so much more important in the grand scheme of the world in this country. So some people will be paying attention. But I agree with you. I think it will be a very limited fraction. We will obviously continue to follow any new developments in this impeachment inquiry into President Biden, but that is the latest for now. We’ll be back after some ads. 

 

[AD BREAK]

 

Juanita Tolliver: Let’s get to some headlines. 

 

[sung] Headlines. 

 

Juanita Tolliver: An update on the war in Gaza. Hamas released 12 additional hostages into Israeli territory yesterday in exchange for more Palestinian prisoners, some of whom were detained but never charged. This comes as Tuesday marked the fifth day of the temporary cease fire between Israel and Hamas, an agreement that was brokered by Egypt and Qatar over the weekend. In exchange for the 12 hostages, Israeli officials said they released 30 Palestinian prisoners to hold up their end of the deal. In total, Hamas has released 81 hostages and Israel has released more than 150 Palestinian prisoners, most of whom are women and children since the start of the cease fire. Although we should also mention that according to Al Jazeera, Israel arrested over 130 Palestinians from the West Bank and East Jerusalem in the same time frame. 

 

Priyanka Aribindi: Wow. 

 

Juanita Tolliver: Today will mark the last day of the pause in violence in Gaza unless Israel and Hamas move to extend their cease fire agreement again. 

 

Priyanka Aribindi: The Koch network, a conservative political network founded by the billionaire brothers, Charles and David Koch, has formally endorsed Nikki Haley for the Republican presidential nomination. Americans for Prosperity, which is the network’s political arm, announced the endorsement yesterday. In a memo the group wrote that Haley, quote, “offers America the opportunity to turn the page on the current political era to win the Republican primary and to defeat Joe Biden next November.” The group’s backing could help Haley by giving her access to on the ground resources like field workers knocking on doors and making phone calls urging voters to support her. I’m sure none of them will be AI. [laughter] I’m just absolutely sure of it. Haley will also have access to influential donors in the networks who could all prove very helpful to her campaign in the weeks before the Iowa caucuses. The announcement, of course, is not welcome news to Ron DeSantis, who has struggled to come out as the clear alternative to Donald Trump. And Trump remains a frontrunner in the 2024 GOP primary race, despite Americans for Prosperity’s opposition to him. Their anti-Trump efforts include mailers and online ads, among other things, which, according to the New York Times, has amounted to more than $9 million dollars. In a statement, Nikki Haley said that she was honored to have the support of Americans for Prosperity, saying that they, quote, “know that there is too much at stake in this election to sit on the sidelines,” which is a very interesting quote, because I don’t think they were particularly sitting on the sideline before. 

 

Juanita Tolliver: No. 

 

Priyanka Aribindi: They just hadn’t backed her formally like– [laugh]

 

Juanita Tolliver: Yeah, I think she–

 

Priyanka Aribindi: –what are you saying? 

 

Juanita Tolliver: –should have just said thank you and exited stage left because–

 

Priyanka Aribindi: Right. 

 

Juanita Tolliver: Let’s be real. I think that the choice has been made now. Haley is stepping into the Trump alternative space and the dollars are saying as much. So hang it up, DeSantis. You can drop out now. 

 

Priyanka Aribindi: Please, please and thank you. 

 

Juanita Tolliver: New York House Representative George Santos, a.k.a. Joann the scammer, as we call him, could be expelled from Congress as early as this week. That’s because Democratic Representative Robert Garcia of California introduced a privileged resolution yesterday to expel Santos, a move that forces a vote on the issue within two legislative days. This, of course, isn’t the first time a member of the House has put forth legislation to oust the New York Republican. Santos has survived multiple expulsion attempts in the past with the support of his party. But some of his colleagues have turned on him in recent days. Many have signaled that they now plan to vote in favor of expulsion after the House Ethics Committee released its highly anticipated report on Santos last week. According to the report, the committee found, quote, “substantial evidence that the embattled representative misused campaign funds to treat himself and buy things like luxury trips, Botox treatments, and even onlyfan subscriptions.” I’m like uh George, um treat yourself did not apply to donations from supporters. 

 

Priyanka Aribindi: No it think it applies to your money. But he just did not get that memo. It’s fine. 

 

Juanita Tolliver: He said, I’m just going to do a transfer to my personal account. Okay. It’s still not clear if the motion to expel Santos will succeed, given that the motion requires a two thirds majority. But if the Chamber does vote on the matter before they adjourn for the week, this will be another test for Republican Representative Mike Johnson and his leadership as Speaker of the House. So get your popcorn and TV remotes ready y’all C-Span is about to get good again. I mean, they’ll have the live stream across social media as well. You have so many options to tune into this. 

 

Priyanka Aribindi: Oh, yes. I am just thankful that I will still be on this show in two legislative days. So I will be here to watch this happen. We’ll be processing this on this program very soon. I’m very excited. Looking forward to it. 

 

Juanita Tolliver: We love a good hate watch. [laughing]

 

Priyanka Aribindi: Oh, yes. The families of the Sandy Hook shooting victims say that conspiracy theorist Alex Jones can pay them $85 million dollars over ten years to settle his legal debt. That number is just a tiny percentage, 6%, to be exact of the $1.5 billion dollars that Jones was ordered to pay for calling the 2012 shooting a, quote, “hoax,” the offer was made during Jones’s personal bankruptcy case in Houston last week by asking for a smaller settlement. The families are hoping that it gets worked into a bankruptcy deal so they can make sure they get the money that they’re owed. Jones and his company filed for bankruptcy after the families won that case last year. But a judge ruled in October that his bankruptcy wouldn’t release him from paying the settlement. Don’t get the idea that Jones is getting off easy or anything. The new offer also requires him to pay the families half of any income he earned, over $9 million dollars per year. And according to the families and creditors, Jones has continued to live a pretty lavish lifestyle for someone who is supposedly bankrupt. As lawyers for the Sandy Hook family said about Jones in the filing, quote, “His time is up.” 

 

Juanita Tolliver: 41 construction workers trapped in a tunnel in northern India for more than two weeks have been rescued. The dozens of workers were pulled out yesterday where they had been trapped since November 12th when a landslide collapsed part of the tunnel they were building. Thankfully, there were no serious injuries or deaths, but they were trapped there for 17 days. They were given food, water and oxygen through narrow steel pipes, and they had light in the tunnel. Doctors and psychiatrists were also on site. Rescue teams pulled out the workers through welded pipes that they had pushed through dug out areas. And one by one, the trapped workers were transported out of the tunnel via wheeled stretchers. They were each given health checkups at a temporary medical camp in the tunnel entrance before they were taken away in ambulances. And a crowd of locals, government officials and relatives cheered as the workers were brought out. Some shouting long live mother India in Hindi and setting off firecrackers. Take a listen to miners celebrating the rescue. [sound of cheers] One rescuer told the New Delhi television, quote, “The trapped workers were overjoyed when they spotted us in the tunnel. Some rushed toward me and hugged me.” 17 days trapped in a tunnel. Oof! I’m sure it was rough. I’m glad they’re safe now. 

 

Priyanka Aribindi: That is harrowing and wild that this wasn’t a bigger story. 

 

Juanita Tolliver: Yeah. 

 

Priyanka Aribindi: And finally, an online developers conference set to take place in early December called DevTernity was canceled on Monday after accusations that the organizer fabricated female speakers profiles. 

 

Juanita Tolliver: Ugh. 

 

Priyanka Aribindi: Yeah. Oh, brace yourself, because it gets worse. 

 

Juanita Tolliver: I’m cringing. 

 

Priyanka Aribindi: So all of this started last week when Gergely Orosz who runs a popular tech newsletter posted on social media that he had identified fabricated profiles of women on DevTernity speakers list and that he notified attendees. It also appeared that the event’s website did not remove women who had previously dropped out of the conference or who had declined to speak. Following this reveal, several tech executives and high profile engineering leaders in the developer community pulled out of the conference where tickets were selling for as much as $870. So what does Dev Trinity had to say about all this? Well, the organizer confirmed the event’s cancellation. He also wrote this super long post on X formally known as Twitter. And in it, he said that he auto generated a fake woman’s profile after a female speaker had dropped out of the conference, but that it was just a placeholder. That is what they all say when they’re caught I believe. 

 

Juanita Tolliver: You know what’s a placeholder? TBD to be determined. Not–

 

Priyanka Aribindi: Right. 

 

Juanita Tolliver: –an AI generated person, but okay.

 

Priyanka Aribindi: No. Anyways, he said he later removed it. You can see us rolling well you can’t see us rolling our eyes because this is a podcast, but our eyes are in the back of our brains. [laughter] But zooming out though, the tech industry has quite a long way to go in diversifying their male dominated field. One piece of advice from us here at WAD is making fake profiles is certainly not the way to do it. Obviously, there are more men in tech than women. 

 

Juanita Tolliver: Yes. 

 

Priyanka Aribindi: It has been a problem, a long documented problem for quite a while. But there are plenty of women to pick from. 

 

Juanita Tolliver: Yes. 

 

Priyanka Aribindi: Plenty of well-qualified, very accomplished women who probably could speak at this conference. If you made any effort, half the effort that you put into generating these fake profiles into finding them. What?

 

Juanita Tolliver: I feel like I need Nev, I need a camera because this is an episode of Catfish. 

 

Priyanka Aribindi: Absolutely. 

 

Juanita Tolliver: I need to understand how Gergely came across this reality and called it out because a full investigation needs to be launched into all tech conferences now. Do not trust any of these tech bros y’all.

 

Priyanka Aribindi: Anyone. 

 

Juanita Tolliver: Question everything catfish is– 

 

Priyanka Aribindi: Reverse image search–

 

Juanita Tolliver: –all. 

 

Priyanka Aribindi: –those headshots. That’s all I’m saying.

 

Juanita Tolliver: That’s step number one. 

 

Priyanka Aribindi: Step number one. And those are the headlines. 

 

[AD BREAK]

 

Juanita Tolliver: That’s all for today. If you like the show, make sure you subscribe. Leave a review. Warm up your C-SPAN and tell your friends to listen. 

 

Priyanka Aribindi: And if you’re into reading and not just tech conference lineups of real people like me, What a Day is also a nightly newsletter. Check it out and subscribe at Crooked.com/subscribe. I’m Priyanka Aribindi.

 

Juanita Tolliver: I’m Juanita Tolliver.

 

[spoken together] And do better tech bros.

 

Priyanka Aribindi: Come on. Half the time and effort that it takes to generate a fake AI human. Just go on LinkedIn. Come on. 

 

Juanita Tolliver: Can you imagine how catfishing is going to elevate now that AI generated photos are a norm? Wow. 

 

Priyanka Aribindi: I don’t even want to think about it. 

 

Juanita Tolliver: Wow. 

 

Priyanka Aribindi: Juanita, it terrifies me. [laughter] [music break]

 

Juanita Tolliver: What a Day is a production of Crooked Media. It’s recorded and mixed by Bill Lancz. Our show’s producer is Itxy Quintanilla. Raven Yamamoto and Natalie Bettendorf are our associate producers. And our showrunner is Leo Duran. Our theme music is by Colin Gilliard and Kashaka.