The courts may have stopped the Feds from enforcing a ban but it seems the US Consulates either haven’t gotten the word that there is no ban or they have been instructed to put one into effect. India is not on the banned list and has never been a source of anything but people who have made great contributions to the US. Nevertheless, young Muslim physicians I recently met have gotten a clear message: “Muslims need not apply”. Stories are circulating in the medical community about visa applications that were formerly routinely approved are now being denied. As a result, Indian Muslim doctors who were planning to come to the US to complete advanced training or go into practice are already considering going to Canada or Europe. One young physician I met was very interested in coming to the US for a Masters in Public Health. He is going to wait to see if the fever of Muslim hate passes, but he is also now looking hard at alternatives. We should not underestimate the damage that is being done by the Trump led attack on the Muslim religion around the world.


Word quickly reached even the most remote part of India where we are at the moment. Seen from afar the substance of the repeal effort was about the redistributive intents and effects of health reform. Ryan and Trump seemed perfectly willing to take resources from old people and poor people and give them to rich people. The Freedom Caucus wanted to shift benefits to lower middle income people through lower priced insurance. (They have their facts wrong and their solution won’t work but that is what they are trying to do.) The few moderate Republicans realized that a lot of their constituents were getting subsidies under the existing law and they wanted to preserve them. The Democrats got to sit back and make no choices. Different elements of the public figured accurately that the bill would take resources from them and all these pieces added up to huge majority opposed to the bill.

As I noted in an earlier blog, the Republicans needed the “savings” from killing Obamacare to fund part of their tax cuts for the rich plan. The money isn’t there now and Ryan/Trump are wounded. Out rich friends shouldn’t start spending their new money yet.