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Trump’s New American: Sick, Dirty, Dumb, and Homeless

You’ve got to admit the past few days have been Washington nail biters. There was Obamacare (also called the Affordable Care Act, or ACA), slowly mounting the stairs to the guillotine. Up on the platform, blade-release rope in hand, was Donald Trump, quite GQ in his black Brioni and matching hood.

The foul and hazy horizon was more eye-blistering than usual for the 24 million low-income voters – many of whom likely voted for Trump and against their own interests – about to lose their health insurance with a quick yank of Donald’s rope.  But even Republicans, whose frosty wives had already banked the extra cash from their tasty new tax cuts, had to draw the line somewhere. Somewhere in their trickle-down thinking, did a sudden flash of pity emerge at the thought of all those constituents suffering or even dying of preventable illnesses? Or was it was plain old survival instinct in the wake of town hall meetings where those same constituents shouted down any support of Trumpcare.

For the handful of you who continue to maintain that these Health Tips should be nonpolitical, limited to topics that keep you healthy, youthful, and disease-free, do you get it now? Doctors are morally obligated to be involved, and they have been. The AMA, AAFP (family physicians), ACP (internists), and AHA (hospitals) all took the same stance, begging Congress not to axe Obamacare/ACA.

In fact on election day, fearing Trump would try to repeal the ACA, physicians voted for Hillary Clinton 2 to 1.

With Obamacare safe for now, understand there are many more challenges ahead that, in one way or another, continue to involve your health and the physicians trying–sometimes struggling–to take care of you. I’m going to spend the rest of this Health Tip reviewing how a handful of Trump’s ill-considered budget proposals will directly affect your health and that of generations to come.

But before I start, I was thinking about Vladimir Putin and his enthusiasm for Trump. Well before the election, he must have known all about Trump and his Republican cohort’s plans and probably had his smart Kremlin advisors guessing about Trump’s cabinet picks.

“Aha!” he thought, “He’s creating a kakistocracy! He’ll pick cabinet members who will back him 100%. In a few years, the US will be a completely uneducated, chronically ill, filthy country that will collapse from its own undoing.” Thrusting a clenched fist skyward, he shouts, “Good time to watch Idiocracy again. So much funnier than Triumph of the Will.”

Here’s whose tracheas get crushed by Donald’s iron boot
Housing Trump’s budget trims $3 billion from Community Directed Block Grants, whose dollars provide subsidized housing for the poor and elderly. Currently, there are multi-year waiting lists for these apartments. Many of the buildings are in terrible shape. Some years back, I was medical director for a city program called Elderly In Distress. I saw dozens of such subsidized apartments and even back then they were often roach- and crime-infested and unheated, with erratic plumbing. People couldn’t get to doctors because the elevators were broken.

Ben Carson, Housing and Urban Development secretary, who by all accounts knows nothing about housing except that he owns a few, says he agrees with Paul Ryan’s proposals to have lease limitations and work requirements for anyone living in public housing. Trump’s new Americans thus will actually add to our already burgeoning homeless population.

Health and Human Services Here’s an outrage that triggers the grinding of my molars to dust. Trump’s budget trims almost $6 billion from the NIH (National Institutes of Health). In case you were unaware, the NIH consists of 27 separate institutes, including those that support cancer, eye, heart, lung, blood, and human genome research. NIH not only does research on site, but spreads its grants like peanut butter to researchers across the entire US (many of whom are immigrants, just as an aside). Without government support of HHS, Trump’s new American may be unable to cope with illnesses that other, more progressive countries have kept under control.

The Department of Education suffers $9 billion in cuts as 20 programs are eliminated or seriously reduced. Cabinet appointee Betsy DeVos, whose life experience does not include public schools, wants this money directed to charter school vouchers. Read this chilling Rolling Stone piece, which describes her appointment as education secretary as marking “the crowning achievement of the Christian right’s campaign to infiltrate America’s secular institutions.” Her idea of a charter school is Christian-based education with a return to school prayer, “Christian values” (whatever these are), and putting intelligent design, that quasi-debate between evolution and creationism, into the curriculum.

This mega-cut would mean losing programs in literacy, critical thinking, teacher training, and workshops that help low-income students prepare for college. By defunding education, Trump’s new Americans will slowly but steadily get dumb and dumber. For those who believe art is a valuable adjunct to education, the National Endowment of the Arts (NEA) disappears, as does the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, which supports PBS (Channel 11) and National Public Radio (WBEZ).

The Environmental Protection Agency Slashed by $2.6 billion, loses 3,200 employees. These are the folks who direct industrial cleanups, monitor air and water quality, and penalize polluters. During my medical training, I treated lead poisoning in kids and black lung in miners. Growing up, I couldn’t see the skyline in Gary, Indiana, for the thick, throat-clenching pollution. Today doctors treat an increasing number of patients who have multiple chemical sensitivities. Our kakistocracy and the folks who voted these selfish clowns into power are the only people on the planet who still deny the existence of climate change. Trump’s new Americans will look more and more like the residents of Flint, Michigan, whose water is contaminated with lead.

If you’re interested in a full list of what Trump’s budget seeks to eliminate, click here. It is very disturbing. 

But there’s a bit of good news on the horizon, brought to you by Big Pharma. Spotting a worrisome trend in generalized anxiety, they’ve developed a new drug that will tweak your neurotransmitters just enough to keep you in survival mode. Drug reps are confident it will be covered by health insurance. If you’ve not seen the commercial for it, click here.

And be well,
David Edelberg, MD

Leave a Comment

  1. A. Heisler says:

    Please fix your website. There is some over-writing and I want to read the whole thing. I learned a new word today. Kakistocracy. So appropriate.

  2. Dr. R says:

    A. Heisler. Working on it. Should be soon. Sorry for the inconvenience.

  3. I am screaming my way to the office for my prescription. wonder if medicare will cover it. My wife asked is there a holistic approach/alternative to this new wonder drug?
    i said canada. as in move there.

  4. B. Gail Mendenhall says:

    Bravo Dr. Edelberg!!
    I really appreciate this very informative and enlightening article you wrote!!!
    It is very troubling what Trump is doing and people who voted for him are in for a rude awakening!!
    Thank you and bless you as I align with your critical thinking and exposing he truth!
    Gail Mendenhall (former Chicago resident and client at WHC)

  5. Nancy says:

    Terrible and offensive article.

  6. Colleen says:

    I’m not one who thinks the medical community or any community shouldn’t raise their voices in standing up, protecting and insisting on better. You go Dr. E

  7. Andre Bussiere says:

    The maybe you should go march in a vagina costume or go make some more false accusations with no evidence to support your claim. You are the type of people that are brainwashed sheep that have turned this country into a free for all. Yeh prostesting does not include destroying property so hard working citizens have to replace it. Breaking the law and disrespecting are military and police is not acceptable either. Laws are put in place for a reason not just to like your corrupt liberal agenda. A lot of you doctors are out for one thing and that’s for you to make more money you don’t care about what it costs the patient(life, money, more health problems due to you prescribing more prescriptions which are in turn making supper bugs), you just care about more money for yourself. You would think if you doctors were so smart the American citizens would be ingood health but instead the healthcare field is a massive failure. What’s so diturbing about Mr. Donald Trumps budget cuts? It’s called getting rid of wasteful spending. But all you liberals are going to sit there and stomp your feet an throw a fit like 2 year olds. This is big boy America not preschool America.
    Watch what you say today..

  8. Tom Nash says:

    Dr E ,

    It can indeed be tricky running a business , especially in greater Chicago metro area as our Social Security disabilty practice , when one ventures into fierce political landscape . But with apparent advent of Trumpcare , I did feel the need to share opinion sending our blog to thousands titled , ” Trumpcare , an Awful Deal for Chicagoland, America and You .” tinyurl.com/m2f789g.

    In the words of the great Bette Davis, ” Fasten your seatbelts , it’s going to be a bumpy night!”

    Tom Nash

  9. Jill Hileman says:

    Thank you for staying involved. The health of our nation impacts the health of our bodies, as this alternate universe we’re now living in proves.

  10. L. Shore says:

    Wow, excellent article !!! You hit the nail on the head.

  11. Kimberly Clancy says:

    Thank you for writing nd posting. Extremely informative.

  12. Jennifer Baron says:

    Dr E, I greatly appreciate your message. It is abundantly clear that this administration is set to destroy America, and take it on a Joy ride to Hell while they and their cronies get richer. Pretty much looking like the Kremlin to me. I am so saddened and outraged, and daily life is colored so bleakly that it is taking every ounce of my soul to keep hope alive. But what keeps me going is knowing people like you are speaking up and letting your voices be heard, along with millions of others who are going to fight the good fight against this horror upon us, and I know, deep in my heart that somehow we will overcome…and there will be a 2018 election that will hopefully role heads, and this will be a one term president IF he isn’t impeached first, which I actually pray for daily. Thank you for your fight. Honored to know you.

  13. Eva Mika says:

    I am a Christian and do believe in Christ. However, Jesus took care of the poor and homeless and healed the sick. He loved and respected women. Trump and his administration do not appear to care about the poor or homeless or sick or anything vulnerable (including the environment and endangered species). True Christian values are actually based on taking care of the most vulnerable-just wanted to clarify that what they are promoting is not consistent with Christianity (regardless of they purport). Thank you for the post Dr. E.


  14. Patti woodbury says:

    I’m not sure about that last link. But suddenly I’m very hungry.

  15. L.Holm says:

    Shocked to hear that 1 out of 2 physicians voted for this…Good points throughout. Thanks for speaking out.

  16. Connie Jean says:

    Keep your political views to yourself.

  17. Regan Burke says:


  18. Louise Witkin-Berg says:

    The Democrates or our judiciary must find a way to get Trump and possibly Pence and Ryan out of office but start with Trump. His acts must be illegal and of course inhumane. Democrates are too nice and if it were a Democrate in office, she or he, would have been impeached for just one of Trump’s antics. We need a huge March and movement to take him down and entirely remove him. We need to fight against his tax reform for the greed he has agreed to satisfy and the needed funds from the wealthy to continue to support the ACA. And by the way I thought the misinformed, and gullible, voted for Trump and not his daughter/wife and her 35 year old husband? Please keep speaking out Dr. Edelberg. Every voice is needed who can send the truth to the ignorance that got us here and worse where we are headed.

  19. Addie says:

    I can’t find the link but I just read on a news site that public reaction against Trump’s budget is running stronger than objection to his healthcare plan.

  20. Cathy says:

    So very thankful for you Dr. E, and your voice.
    Am right with you, Jennifer, Colleen, and Eva. I’m mortified by the goings on with 45~ completely goes against what faith calls us to do/be. Definitely could use some of the new RX…

  21. Vicki lewis says:

    What a ridiculous tirade. Are we forgetting if you are low income enough, there is Medicaid? What wrong with work requirements ? I’m sick of seeing able bodied “homeless”. I work two jobs with constant chronic pain. This is why budget cuts are needed, Obama racked up tremendous debt for this country. President Trump is an extremely intelligent businessman working to fix an overspending government.
    The budget is only disturbing if you are looking for constant handouts.
    I’m sure your opinion flies with the liberal left in Chicago, but Chicago is in a pretty sorry state at the moment. I will be unsubscribing.

  22. Tina Bruner says:

    Dr. E. I have learned so much from your newsletters. I’ve looked up to you as a professional man of wisdom and then you go and publish such crap. Have you fully research all your claims? I can’t wait to share your stats with the Drs. I know, they all hate Obama care. You need to stick to medicine- what your good at and leave your political views out of it. Your opinion matters and it’s okay to express it – in another venue but this is a professional medical newsletter I don’t read it for your opinion, I read it to learn something new in the medical field. I will be unsubscribing.

  23. Terry says:

    Dr E, thank you for saying this. It needs to be repeated over and over until the people who still sing the praises of Trump are awakened. I recall from your past post, that you are no fan of ACA and your office doesn’t accept Medicare. We know that the GOP doesn’t have a health plan, but ACA is deeply flawed, due to the changes that were made to it to get it passed. How about promoting a Single Payer System? Bernie Sanders is putting together a plan. I hope a bipartisan effort will either improve ACA or switch to single payer. And we must continue to fight for the Environment if we want to see any health at all!

  24. Dr. E,
    We are gratified that you place our health in context. Virtually everything that you have written about affects our long-term well-being; from clean air and water to affordable care and sane environmental policy. To say that Trump, the petulant, entitled five-year old who fancies himself a tin pot dictator endangers all these things (among many other aspects of life) is simply to state the obvious. That you care enough to do so is further evidence of your ethical stance as a physician. Please do not stop – it gives us hope that America can yet survive the mindless, wholly vile onslaught that currently besets it.

  25. Mary Parisoe says:

    Well-written articulate article, Dr. Edelberg. Thanks.

  26. Della Pearl says:

    Cancel my email subscription. I don’t want your liberal political opinion.

  27. Lisa says:

    I commend you on speaking out. Thank you.

  28. Rev. Karen says:

    Dr. E, thank you for sharing your personal experience any thoughts with us. It’s important we stand up for human values and empathy in the face of Trumps robbing from the poor to make the rich richer. Our society is in grave danger from selfishness and gullibility. Trumps supporters don’t even recognize when they’ve been conned. Thank you for speaking the truth. Now we all have to join together to see that Trump is brought up on charges for his Russian treason and the presidency must go to the winner of the popular vote.

  29. Patrick McArthur says:

    Thank you Dr. Edelberg, it truly is a horrifying time in this divided country. We must continue to resist and reverse their policies especially all those who champion “Trumpdon’tcare”. Hopefully the citizens who thought this cabal was a good idea wake up before irreparable damage is done. Keep up the good fight and be well.

  30. Sue says:

    REALLY? Now I have to read about politics in a health newsletter. “PLEASE STOP”… its unwarranted.

  31. Flora B. says:

    Thank you for stating the facts on what this horrid administration is doing to our country. It’s sad how these facts are scaring off some of your readers but I’m sure they know where to go to get a dose of “alternative facts”. It is also a tragedy that this administration represents a minority of the American people. The majority of Americans want nothing to do with this evil agenda. Thanks for speaking up!

  32. Sam says:

    Dr. Efelberg,
    You’re article was not an not inaccurate but offensive.
    I personally am going to look elsewhere for my healthcare needs.

  33. A. Haynes says:

    I have been helped by both Dr. Edelberg and the folks at Tom Nash Disability Law (see comment section from him and article below) and am very proud to be associated with both!! Keep the important and bold words coming, American’s needs to wake up! Thank you!

  34. V. Sander says:

    Wow Doc, what a disappointment! We count on your wisdom in our fight for life and in turn you feed us simplistic opinions and leftist misconceptions? The conclusions in this piece are just not correct, period.

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