MOMENT OF CLARITY

Guys. I'm trying my best to be serious and not take the easy path to making fun of how stupid the person in charge of the country is at the moment. But. You guys. I have to ask a question without sarcasm, without subtext, without winking and nudging. Read this, and then tell me…



…does the President of the United States know what health insurance is? Like. It sounds like he is describing one of two things here: 1) nothing, because this is basically word salad or 2) whole life insurance, which might (for a very young, healthy person) have something extremely low like a $12/year premium. Nothing else in the world of insurance is even in the ballpark of what he's talking about. The trip insurance on Priceline costs more than $12.

If we do as we are encouraged by our upbringing and attempt to treat our elected officials and their ideas respectfully, reading these words leads to the conclusion that the President of the United States does not actually know what health insurance is. That is one of the most depressing thoughts I've had to absorb in a year of seriously depressing thoughts from the world of politics.

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55 Responses to “MOMENT OF CLARITY”

  1. Aimee Says:

    This is depressing, but I'm not sure it's new. He didn't seem to understand most of the concepts being discussed during the campaign, either. But hey, look on the bright side – at least you can still feel something. You're not a black hole of apathy (yet).

  2. Berkeley '74 Says:

    I'm finding it increasingly difficult to see how on earth the USA can survive in one piece this civil war. Let's say, for example, the congressional investigations actually lead to some serious corrections. For example, government official start going to jail for extended terms. Hey, it could happen. Maybe even number 45 is somehow removed or resigns from office. Who here believes any of those activities will help in any way remotely whatsoever ? Not only will it not help, it will only exacerbate the situation. Or, conversely, how would it help if no corrections are applied to this train wreck ? Can't see how that is going to work. All sides are going to take to the trenches and bring out the big guns. Doomed I tell ya, doomed we are. No doubt.

    http://www.wnyc.org/story/through-lens-trump-media

  3. mago Says:

    "That is one of the most depressing thoughts I've had to absorb in a year of seriously depressing thoughts from the world of politics."

    Really? That's it?
    You must have more.

  4. Dean Says:

    "If we do as we are encouraged by our upbringing and attempt to treat our elected officials and their ideas respectfully…"

    There is no good reason to treat our elected officials and their ideas respectfully. The post, POTUS, is wide open for constant and vicious attack. We should hate that we have a POTUS, a barely disguised monarch. We owe no respect to our President, our legislators, our judges. Their jobs are despicable and awful, and we should remind them of this fact. Collectively, we might accomplish what they pretend to accomplish. Thus, we owe respect to people, all of us, as a collective.

    We owe respect to people, even cognitively compromised people like Donald Trump, who happens at this moment to be POTUS.

  5. NickT Says:

    It looks to me as if Trump combines extreme ignorance, some sort of mental illness and the rather dubious quality of being owned by the Russian mafia and hence the Kremlin. Throw in a Republican party committed to cretinous greed, misogyny, racism and a burning hatred of democracy and you've got the makings for a very nasty disaster all round. I just don't see how any of this can end well. About the only hope that I can see is that the GOP seem primed to turn on each other, although power is a remarkable builder of friendships.

  6. Mo Says:

    What's horrifying is that 48% of voters "think" just like he does.

    I figure they'll be the new servant class.

  7. Tim H. Says:

    Hyperbole, and a failure to realize how much more significant the Presidency makes everything he says. It's been half a year on the job, and he still doesn't get it.

  8. democommie Says:

    In a just world any of these assholes would infarct and find themselves in an ambulance with an attendant EMT/Paramedic who says:

    "I know you don't know me, sir. But I know you. You ruined my life. My name is Inigo Montoya, you deported my father; prepare to die!".

  9. geoff Says:

    The GEB is SERIOUSLY in over his head. But if Bannon's real objective is to cripple the federal government (except (maybe) the DoD), he's found a pretty good tool with which to do so.

    @DC, nice one.

  10. doug Says:

    The wonderful thing is NO paramedic would behave that way, no matter how they felt!

    Yes, we have a fucked up gov't. But we have before. This too shall pass; and we will have a fucked up(in some other way) gov't again….

  11. Anubis Bard Says:

    There's a scene in Being There, where the appalled older Black woman listening to Chauncey Gardener talk on TV says, "Gobbledygook. All ya gotta be is White in America to get whatever ya want." But he's a nonentity – only in the halls of power because of what others project onto him. Alas, Gardener is not the kind of fool we elected. Conservative America wanted a mean, aggressively stupid fool. So here we are, captive audience to democracy's unpretty Id.

  12. RosiesDad Says:

    He clearly doesn't know what health insurance is. That was apparent during the campaign when he repeatedly stated that he would replace Obamacare with "something better. something that would provide better insurance to more people at lower cost. We're going to do it by negotiating with the hospitals" as if "the hospitals" were some sort of monolithic entity that could alter the cost structure of healthcare in America.

    He is a naive, uneducated child. And he has the codes to the nuclear arsenal.

    But not for nothing, Paul Ryan doesn't understand what health insurance is much better than Trump does.

    For the time, we are fucked.

  13. sluggo Says:

    After reading the quote above, I don't think he has any idea what health insurance is, and he certainly does not have a clue about the cost.

    Even in the real world, a number of husbands simply don't pay attention to health insurance/health care; they simply right it off as 'my wife takes care of that'. My wife worked in HR and has boatloads of stories about guys like that.

    There is also a good chance that the only doctor he has seen as an adult is the crazy guy with the crazy hair, who I would bet dollars to doughnuts does not accept insurance and has a 'cash only' sign on his wall.

  14. Ellis Weiner Says:

    Here's another fun question: Could Habermann have said, "I'm sorry, sir, what did you just say? Could you re-phrase that?" Because, as Ed says, it's either gibberish, or it's simply false. Ditto Spicey and the other spox. Can't the press say, "I'm sorry, but what you just said isn't true. Can you say something that IS true?"

  15. GunstarGreen Says:

    He doesn't know what health insurance is, because he has never had any need to know. Neither have any of the lawmakers in Congress, for that matter.

    The popular Republican meme is that "we have the best healthcare in the world". After all, "People come from across the world to make use of our healthcare system!" And yes, they do… but that's the very point. Our healthcare system is amazing — IF you can afford to drop everything, fly halfway across the planet, and pay entirely out of pocket. And the problem is that all of our lawmakers can do that, but the vast majority of the citizenry cannot.

    They live on a different planet, with different concerns from the people they are charged with governing. And you cannot have good government that way. It doesn't affect them. They don't give a shit WHAT happens with healthcare, because they're going to be taken care of either way.

    The French had the right idea. A pity that Americans don't have the same level of guts.

  16. Emma Says:

    Remember when Rush Limbaugh thought baby-killing unfuckable feminist whores (?) had to take a birth control pill every time they had sex? He said something like, “they’re just POPPING and POPPING these little pills, ALL DAY LONG!” Because he got birth control confused with Viagra, probably? That was funny. This is more like, I guess, opposing government-subsidized birth control because you don't know what a vagina is but you suspect it’s something dirty.

    This comment-box font is giving me 2011 LiveJournal vibes, and I love it.

  17. Brian M Says:

    For the life of me, I can't focus on whether he "knows what insurance is". I can't parse what this random word salad is really saying at all. It is PALINESQUE in its incoherence.

  18. Jono Says:

    What?!? Not that there was much doubt, but we are in some very deep shit.

  19. Heywood J. Says:

    Of course he has no idea how health insurance works. Why would he? He's spent his entire life going to "Doctor" Lebowski. Someone else looks at the EOB, someone else pays the bill, someone else pays whatever insurance premium is involved. He's been insulated from these sorts of things his entire life.

    It's even scarier than that, though. This asshole has been humping 'murka's leg for almost forty years now, and the only time he's sounded remotely lucid is when he's lying about how awesome he thinks he is. He is completely incapable of talking about any real-world subject with even a bullshitter's level of coherence.

    So it makes sense that his most ardent supporters have not touched a book since high school. You can't tell 'em nothin'. But at least they've been living paycheck-to-paycheck, and don't really have the leisure time to cultivate that coveted inner life. What's Clownstick's excuse?

  20. mothra Says:

    It's obvious he thinks health insurance operates like life insurance. Disturbing, to say the least.

  21. democommie Says:

    "It's obvious he thinks health insurance operates like life insurance. Disturbing, to say the least."

    Well, they are amazingly similar in one, very important, way.

    You stop paying premiums for either of them when you're dead.

    Elsewhere the other day, I was on a thread about the new RefuKKKliKKKLan Healthscare bill (The "Let's piss in their suppurating wound hole an d tell them it's 'lavage' plan") and there was mention of the vote being held up because McStain was recovering from surgery. Turns out, "recovering" is a seriously unrealistic assessment of his situation.

    He has a glioma (brain tumor) the same thing that killed Ted Kennedy. It's exceedingly likely that he will die in the not far distant future.

    I suppose I should feel a glimmer of sympathy. I don't. My comment the other day was that we should all send him a "get well card" that says:

    "Isn't it nice, Senator, that you can have brain surgery while a pregnant single mom with a tubal pregnancy, eclampsia, cervical/uterine/breast cancer can't even find out that both she and her baby will die.".

    I wrote that before I knew he had brain cancer. Nothing suggests to me that a change is in order.

  22. John M. Burt Says:

    1) Hound and harass our proxies in Congress to oppose the Republican agenda.
    2) Get out and vote in every election, even the little ones.
    3) Register our neighbors to vote, and educate them about the issues.
    4) Elect a Congress of patriots in 2018 who will stymie the Republican agenda but good, and get Donald, Mike, Paul and Mitch out of their respective undeserved positions of power.

    We know what to do. If it doesn't happen, it won't be (to paraphrase Chesterton) because democracy was tried and found wanting, but because it was found difficult and not tried.

  23. Natalie Says:

    This is actually the second time in an interview he has publicly demonstrated he doesn't know what health insurance is. From his interview with The Economist in May:

    "You’re going to have absolute guaranteed coverage. You’re going to have it if you’re a person going in…don’t forget, this was not supposed to be the way insurance works. Insurance is, you’re 20 years old, you just graduated from college, and you start paying $15 a month for the rest of your life and by the time you’re 70, and you really need it, you’re still paying the same amount and that’s really insurance."

    I…think he's describing Social Security, actually?

  24. gromet Says:

    I'm trying to puzzle out what Trump thinks Obamacare does. Maybe it sets up an individual account. When you're 22, you pay in $12 per year, and that amount gradually increases for 50 years. Then you're in your 70s and the nest egg you've been paying into is big enough to cover doctor visits. But the system is failing because if you're only 30 and you see a doctor, obviously your account can't cover that — so Big Government has to jump in and pay your tab. Which it does by taking the money from… older peoples' accounts? Some mix of that, taxes, and a raid on the profits of insurance companies? Which exist just as sort of banks for these accounts? This is the best I can do.

    Usually when someone is wrong, even if it's a mystery how they got their idea, you can grasp what they think is correct. That is not the case here.

  25. Jestbill Says:

    Nothing Trump says is *supposed* to mean anything.

    It's all just small talk. He doesn't know or care whether he's making sense, he's just filling the time,speaking in his turn.

    Yes, he's senile and doesn't know it, but he's not changed enough that anyone around him notices. Likely he's been like this for years.

  26. Bitter Scribe Says:

    Oh Ed. We are so past that whole concept of "knowing" things. What's important is that Trump appeals to peoples' resentments by slinging insults.

  27. Noskilz Says:

    It's uncanny the number of things he just doesn't seem to understand at all – or even seem to grasp that he doesn't understand them. He doesn't seem to know, or care, or care to know.

    Staffers should be able to give him at least the cliff notes versions, but he's obviously unable or unwilling to bother with even appearing to retain that level of detail.

    Whether it's dementia or blind panic sinking in at the realization of how bad an idea it was for someone whose affairs can handle essentially no serious scrutiny at all to secure an office that puts its holder under a microscope 24/7, he gives the impression of someone who isn't really on speaking terms with reality.

  28. Delbort Says:

    @Jestbill

    There was a video a while back of what English sounds like to non-English speakers (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vt4Dfa4fOEY) and your comment reminded me of it. Trump is speaking Trumpanzee, which sounds very close to English and has all the same words, but the syntax is alien and bizarre. Sarah Palin speaks a regional dialect of this as well.

  29. Surly Duff Says:

    "or 2) whole life insurance, which might (for a very young, healthy person) have something extremely low like a $12/year premium.."

    I know you are trying to be generous, but the only insurance plan that costs $12 per year is a giant bottle of aspirin from Costco. $12 a month won't even buy a healthy youngster a term life policy (except from a shady insurance co) because it isn't large enough for a company to bother offering one that low. And whole life? Forget it. Probably a minimum of $50 per month for 50,000

  30. Surly Duff Says:

    "or 2) whole life insurance, which might (for a very young, healthy person) have something extremely low like a $12/year premium.."

    I know you are trying to be generous, but the only insurance plan that costs $12 per year is a giant bottle of aspirin from Costco. $12 a month won't even buy a healthy youngster a term life policy (except from a shady insurance co) because it isn't large enough for a company to bother offering one that low. And whole life? Forget it. Probably a minimum of $50 per month for 50,000 policy.
    No wonder he thought health care wold be easy to solve when he thought insurance cost even $12 a month and Obamacare caused premiums to increase to thousands per month. The comment illustrates that, once again, he knows nothing about anything and is neither willING or interested in learning.

  31. Major Kong Says:

    I am starting to think that the movie Idiocracy was actually a documentary.

  32. John Danley Says:

    There is no mathematically reliable way to calibrate the level of fucking we are currently receiving, are about to receive, and will indefinitely receive thanks to the four-letter abomination that is MAGA.

  33. DRBDH Says:

    They got the glioastrocytoma out of McCain's brain. When are they going to get the Ignoramoma out of Trump's?

  34. c u n d gulag Says:

    Our P…
    (GACK!)

    Our Pr…
    (URP!)

    Our Pre…
    (BARF!)

    Our Pres…
    (GASP!)

    Our Presi…
    (PROJECT VOMIT!!!)

    Our Presid…
    (DRY HEAVE!)

    Our Presi…
    (I JUST CAN'T SAY IT OR I'LL DIE!)

    Our PresiDON'T…
    PresDUMB…

    PresiDAMNDUMB is a barely ambulatory mound of of festering orange-cottage-cheese mixed with chimp-smegma that talks(SIC – instead if 'who speaks') in non-seqitors.

    He's like an unfunny male version of Emily Litella!

  35. NickT Says:

    @DRBDH
    "When are they going to get the Ignoramoma out of Trump's?"

    I suspect that would require removal of Trump's "brain" in toto.

  36. Procopius Says:

    I've gotta say that in that interview Maggie Haberman sounds nearly as incoherent as him. And never once did she ask, "What in the world are you talking about?" For example, what was that thing about Napoleon not going to Russia "that night" because of a social engagement? And the German Wehrmacht didn't "freeze to death," they fought doggedly for another three years. What were the five wars he said the Russians won because of the cold? The interview sounded like what's called a "beat sweetener," a piece that is purposely slanted to make the interviewee sound good, or at least as good as possible, probably trying to get on his good side. But look at that sentence, "When you win an entitlement you can't take it back." What is that supposed to mean?

  37. sluggo Says:

    @kong
    Idiocracy is now the best case scenario.

    btw
    I like money.

  38. Ron Says:

    "I am starting to think that the movie Idiocracy was actually a documentary."

    Unfortunately, the timetable has accelerated by 500 years.

  39. JJ Says:

    To cheer you up, you should know I've already received several compliments on my new "None of This is OK" Gin and Tacos t-shirt. Kudos!

  40. Dave Says:

    You can't know what health insurance is if you don't know what health is or what insurance is. Our president has the same depth and breadth of knowledge as Gilbert Grape's brother and we need to stop being surprised when he proves it.

  41. SeaTea Says:

    "The great thing about Trump is that he's almost totally stupid. He's having a lot of mental difficulties, but this is caused by a small particle of brain lodged in his skull. Once we remove that, he'll be perfectly alright."

    Apologies to Monty Python.

  42. democommie Says:

    I got a little bit huffy with a guy last night. He's british, living here for whatever reason. He lectured me about it being my fault that Trump got elected.

    Despite me explaining why it cannot be MY fault that Trump got elected he continued to pound on it. After his saying it for about the 5th time I told him that I knew he thought he was being ironic (not at all what I was thinking, but he was with his wife who looked VERY uncomfortable) but that I thought his comment was an insult and I would not be speaking with him about it, as he seemed unable to comprehend that. He contined talking and i told him, again, that we were done.

    Finally after about the eighth "rep", I shouted, "WE ARE DONE!" and walked away. His wife started bending his ear as I was leaving the area (I took a walk to the other end of the rather large room) and when I turned back they had gone. I don't understand people who have no interest in voting or working on a campaign in a country that they live but feel it is their right to be critical of others for not doing "enough". I really don't get that.

  43. HoosierPoli Says:

    I thought he knew what he was talking about, but I may have been projecting understanding.

  44. Katydid Says:

    @Demo; sorry that happened to you (sigh). My non-USAian friends tell me how sorry they are, but they realize with the Russian hacking, the voter suppression, and the batshit insane Americans who voted for him, there wasn't much more I could have done. The spouse and I both signed up as drivers to take people to the polls, we had signs up, and we made our voices heard…and the deplorables were louder, I guess?

  45. Katydid Says:

    PS @ Demo; next time ask him why his country didn't hack our polls, too.

    True fact; know what "Trump" means in UKian? Fart.

  46. Matt Says:

    @john m burt: if we're seriously facing a GOP who will excuse any crime to hold onto power, why would we think they'd even *seat* the 2018 Congress in that case?

  47. Beleck Says:

    well, we finally have a Republican CONgress doing what is supposed to do: follow the Owners dictates. it took some years for it to coalesce, though. by now most Americans are too late to the party: their own enslavement/impoverishment.

    For years the Republicans have been promising to drown the Gov down the bathtub. No matter what Trump does, the Republicans he has appointed to the Gov Agencies are faithfully doing what Republicans do!! Sell everyone and everything out to the highest bidder.

    Remember the St. Reagan and his famous line,"I"m here from the Government to "help" you!

    From gerrymandered states to permanent Republican majorities in Congress, State House and Supreme Court, The Republicans have promised Americans this type of One Party Control.

    what really amazes me is how ignorant or stupid White Americans are. Voting Republican is suicide, and has been since The Powell Memo outlined how to take over America.

    it is way too late to complain or really do anything to stop the fascist oligarchy we have become. Just absolutely astounding how easy it was for the Republicans' Paymaster to quietly buy up almost each and every Politician. From the State house to the Supreme Court. All bought and paid for the 1%. Smart determined Psychopaths who figured how to divide and conquer. The Democrats sold their base out for Wall St. too. The Nazis and the Vichy French come to mind when i think about the Republicans and the Democrats.

    the Highest Bidder. and White People voted these Psychopaths in office, over and over again. Gosh what an Idiot Nation

  48. April Says:

    You guys are starting to make me think I should stay in China forever.

    Nope. Coming back next year to fight. Might (probably) not do any good, but I'll do what I can.

  49. Matt Says:

    Somebody on the Twitterz pointed out that Gerber Life pitches life insurance policies a lot like this on Fox News.

  50. democommie Says:

    Gerber is doing the same thing as has been done for a long time by insurance companies of all stripes.

    Whether the product is whole life or some other sort of policy. They get people when they are vulnerable who pay into a plan for some period of time and then, for myriad reasons, stop making payments. They get nothing without a savings feature. They get you to insure your loved ones until you get too busy to remember to pay the premium and then, "Too bad, so sad, you missed two payments and your policy has lapsed.".

    IMO, these people are all unethical scumbagz.

  51. Katydid Says:

    My parents took out that plan on my kids when they were born. When the payout came, it was around $1500 per kid–in other words, what anyone could have done better by putting $10/month into a bank account (or into a coffee can under the bed).

  52. Tom Says:

    I wish you'd included more context; it doesn't seem that far-fetched that
    he was thinking $1200.

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  55. barney Says:

    trump is a proven ignoramus…that's it. He spent his whole life as a know nothing bully. As for Wharton, I'm sure he had some one write his exams. No joke. The CIA should take him out and protect the Republic.