Politics

Veteran Calls out President Trump's Plans for Obamacare

February 6th 2017

By:
Danielle DeCourcey

A powerful new ad featuring a veteran of the war in Afghanistan blasts President Donald Trump over his promise — and Republicans' attempts — to repeal the Affordable Care Act.

The 30-second ad by VoteVets, a self-described "progressive" advocacy organization for troops and veterans, shows a veteran exercising and talking about his workout.

"President Trump, I hear you watch the morning shows. Here's what I do every morning," the veteran says in the ad, which premiered Monday during MSNBC's "Morning Joe."  The camera slowly pulls away as the voice over continues to speak directly to Trump.

The veteran talks about Trump's approval ratings, the controversial travel ban that stops immigration from seven majority-Muslim countries, and a looming repeal of the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare. 

"Look, you lost the popular vote, you're having trouble drawing a crowd, and your approval rating keeps sinking, but kicking thousands of my fellow veterans off their health insurance by killing the Affordable Care Act, and banning Muslims won't help," the veteran says.

The repeal of the ACA could put pressure on the Department of Veteran's Affairs. Currently, three million enrolled veterans get their health insurance through other means, possibly from employers or the ACA; without the health care law, many will turn to the government.

"I would expect that the number of veterans using VA health care will increase, which will only provide a further challenge for VA to provide timely and accessible care," Carrie Farmer, a health policy researcher at the Rand Corporation, told NPR in January. 

The VA has been mired in controversy in recent years, having been the subject of a national scandal in 2014 over long wait-times and fraudulent records. 

By the end of the VoteVets ad, the camera reveals that the veteran has no leg. 

"That's not the America I sacrificed for, " the veteran says. "You want to be a legitimate president sir? Then act like one."

The term "legitimate president" probably references criticism Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.) made of Trump's presidency in an NBC News interview released on Jan. 14. Lewis said that because of a Russian hacking scandal during the election he did not consider trump to be "legitimate president." 

donald-trump

In a press release, VoteVets Vice Chair and Navy veteran Peter Kauffmann said the 500,000 member organization is putting Trump "on notice" with the ad, and using television to do so in light of the fact the White House comment line isn't working. The comment line went down during President Barack Obama's last days in office, and the Trump administration has not put it back up yet. On the campaign trail, Trump promised to personally respond to VA hospital complaints through a White House hotline. 

“Since the White House comment line is down, and Donald Trump hasn’t set up that veterans hotline he promised, we’re going to go where we know Donald Trump is listening – Morning Joe, and the other shows that he obsesses over," Kauffmann said. "He’s going to hear the message of this ad again and again.  We’re officially putting Mr. Trump on notice.”

You can watch the full ad from VoteVets below. 

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