Culture

Trump tweet-threatens imminent end of Obamacare

Commentary: The president wakes up on Sunday morning and tweets a menacing warning.

Technically Incorrect offers a slightly twisted take on the tech that's taken over our lives.


The art of the tweeted deal?

Pool, Getty Images

Being president involves a little arm-twisting.

On Sunday morning, Republican Sen. Mark Sanford told CNN that he'd been threatened by President Donald Trump if he voted against the American Health Care Act.

And it seems that the president is now keen to give the whole Obamacare repeal effort another tug.

A Sunday morning Trumpist tweet offered: "ObamaCare is in serious trouble. The Dems need big money to keep it going -- otherwise it dies far sooner than anyone would have thought."

This seems a somewhat menacing reference to an idea mooted by Trump's Office of Management and Budget director, Mick Mulvaney. He suggested that there be a balance of funding between Obamacare and the president's border wall project.

Indeed, after a little pause, the president again took to Twitter to muse: "The Democrats don't want money from budget going to border wall despite the fact that it will stop drugs and very bad MS 13 gang members." It will? But aren't gang members good at building tunnels?

Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer has already expressed bemusement, as he says he thought Mexico was supposed to pay for the wall.

Again on Sunday, the president offered a rebuttal: "Eventually, but at a later date so we can get started early, Mexico will be paying, in some form, for the badly needed border wall."

Some might think that eventually, but at a later date, this tweet will become entirely understandable.

Twitter manages to make things very simple. Perhaps that's why the president chose to use it on a subject that he himself seems troubled by. Not too long ago, he declared: "Nobody knew healthcare could be so complicated." Nobody?

Many on Twitter were disturbed by the president's tweet.

Sample from Huffington Post Editorial Fellow Erick Fernandez: "I'm sure low-income residents in Kentucky and West Virginia would prefer that wall over the health care of them and their families."

One or two, though, tried to be constructive. California's Lieutenant-Governor Gavin Newsom tweeted back at Trump: "So why don't we focus on fixing it rather than gutting what people want & stripping millions of their care based on pre-existing conditions?"

Well, because this is Twitter, rather than real life. Complicated discussions just don't fly here.

Of course, this issue arises because this week Congress must agree on a budget or risk a government shutdown.

Where better to start the brinkmanship than Twitter?