The House GOP has pulled the widely-hated Affordable Health Care Act rather than pursue it any further.  Democrats are jubilant and conservatives just shake their heads.  I think that this spectacle is a tactical defeat for Trump and its going to be a blow to his legislative momentum.

My view is that his whole debacle came about as an alliance between President Trump and House Majority Leader Speaker of the House Paul Ryan to carry out a Repeal and Replace scheme (which they both wanted) rather than just Repeal (which Republican voters wanted).  Ryan promised a bill–any bill–and Trump agreed to sign whatever Ryan could put on his desk.   I’d say that Trump’s biggest mistake was threatening the conservative GOP congressmen to pressure them to pass something.  That was bound to fail and make him look powerless in the process.  They’re more scared of the conservative Republican base, not Trump, apparently.

Ryan failed and is the biggest loser in this whole affair.  It is now plain for everyone to see that he has neither the confidence of his own party in Congress or Trump’s.  He’s on his way out the door, mark my words.

Does this demonstrate that Trump isn’t really as great a deal-maker as he says?  I don’t think so.  The GOP House wasn’t going to give him the bill he wanted, so it made sense to walk away from the table.  Eventually, circumstances will be more favorable.

What do I mean?  Go back to February and read one of my previous posts on this subject.

What is the better alignment for the GOP to adopt on this policy issue?  Lawful Stupid or Chaotic Evil?

A Lawful Stupid approach would be to keep publicly crying about not being able to fully repeal Obamacare because they know they can’t pass a bill which ensures marketplace competition, allows the insurance companies to decide which procedures to cover, and doesn’t force them to cover the costs of people who wait until they’re sick to buy health insurance.  Many young people would find themselves dumped off of their parents’ policies and many sick people might suddenly find themselves uninsurable.  The GOP, as it so often does, would talk a good game about limited government while still voting to maintain Big Government.  They know how that story goes, but they’re not called “cuckservatives” for nothing.  They would be motivated to prove their worthiness as the majority party of the federal government by passing anything, just to do something.

Behold!  We have seen the failure of the Lawful Stupid GOP approach, haven’t we?  So what’s Trump going to do now?  The Chaotic Evil one.

You see, Obamacare is still in the death spiral.  With Trump’s previous Executive Order that all but nullifies the individual mandate by forcing the IRS to grant waivers for anyone who doesn’t want to pay for health insurance or the tax for not having insurance, the death spiral will be speedier.

If you think Obamacare is here to stay, you’re a fool.  Without the individual mandate working and ensuring that everyone is paying in to the system, it can’t stand.

Democrats may be cheering today, but Obamacare is very much a dead law walking and the GOP will still hold the White House and Congress when it finally reaches a crisis point.  Both Democrats and conservatives will be much more willing to compromise with Trump when that occurs.  The pressure will be enormous.

So yes, today was a loss for Trump, but he’s making only a temporary retreat.  When this issue re-emerges in a year or so because the insurance companies are demanding a bailout, Trump will have a stronger hand and will be the wiser for this experience.  Beware.

25 comments

  1. Getting rid of the tax penalty does effectively take any consequence off the table for not paying into the system. However, I think if you looked at who was getting true “free medicine” its the same people who would’ve had it anyway. When you sign up, if you’re working you just simply keep payingSo, what a lot of people who didn’t have insurance did was simply pay the penalty. The bar is set so high for actually qualifying for “free” medicine that you’d get it only if you were indigent, had a pre existing condition or were unemployed.

    what the Republicans shat themselves over is the new plan would’ve kicked those people out of free medicine, often times a death sentence. The had to attend their own town halls, and they did not like seeing actual angry people who want them to answer for their votes.

    Im sure I will catch a lot of shit for it, but Republicans/conservatives/libertarians let their party get away with this. The very ideology of the party is to reduce government, so when they’re elected you can find them at the golf club because, hey! “Im working hard at reducing government by doing nothing!”

    Imagine that type of job. they are elected to reduce government, only they don’t even do that. What they do now is nothing, because doing something as contentious as following through and telling people they’re going to die from cancer because Benjamin Franklin didn’t distinctly say in the constitution that healthcare is a right, is going to get them fired.

    Not only will it get them fired, but all of the social agendas they have to shoulder from very whiny minority interests makes them look even worse. they’ve got to now: Repeal Obamacare-meaning millions will go without coverage, they’re going to be pecker checkers of public restrooms, kicking out the probably 30 trannies that use women restrooms, at some point they’ll need another “Rah, Rah” run at the most dead and beaten dead horse litigation in modern American history in Rv.W, and to top it all off they are going to send the message that they couldn’t possibly give a fuck less about the little guy by subsidizing YUGE! tax breaks for the wealthiest Americans.

    All this at a time when America’s stock market is set to crash again, as more American workers are replaced by robots, or usurped by software.

    This is either the most dumb fuck political message or pure genius if you ask me. The message is old and out of touch, but when they fail Im sure they’ll be clever and say it was all a cunning plan to reduce government starting with themselves.

  2. I’m rather happy this didn’t pass, and confused as hell. If it had passed, the GOP would have owned the implosion of the system (as this sorry excuse for a bill would have done nothing to save it), rather than the Democrats wholly owning it in Obamacare.

  3. I feel the same way. The only alternatives are free market through Repeal or expansion of single payer through Replace. The conservative wing of the GOP has (wisely, in my opinion) chosen to let this run its course with the hope that it can get the free market solution.

    It’s a gamble, but I don’t see what other option there is.

  4. This was actually a defeat for the Democrats, and Paul Ryan, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

    Did Trump really support this, or was it just lip service to allow Ryan to fall on his sword?

  5. Democrats definitely would have benefited from the AHCA becoming law. They could have run against it and they would have been totally free of the ACA bogeyman that has been killing them since 2010.

    Ryan is finished. It’s inevitable. I dont see how any Speaker survives this.

  6. I thought you said trump’s twitter account would intimidate them into voting his way?

    Republicans will not win from this. Democrats will now say that after six years of obstruction and filibustering they acknowledge very publicly they have no ideas nor balls to affect change.

    They just want to keep a cushy gig, and if they have to scurry from the light and publicly oppose the president they’ll do so.

    They will also be blamed for Obamacare’ failure because they were elected to fix it. See how that works? They used the last six years obstructing any attempts to improve the bill, and you can bet the farm they will be held accountable.

  7. They pulled the vote because there were way more than six nay votes and it would’ve shown publicly the division between the tea party and compassionate conservatives

  8. Republicans will not win from this. Democrats will now say that after six years of obstruction and filibustering they acknowledge very publicly they have no ideas nor balls to affect change.

    Yeah, the GOP leadership look like idiots. Of course, if they had managed to repeal the disaster known as Obamacare outright, the Democrats would have been saying Republicans just want people to die, etc…

    They just want to keep a cushy gig, and if they have to scurry from the light and publicly oppose the president they’ll do so.

    Which has always applied to both sides equally. It’s known as a disease called “politician”.

  9. The real issue is not this Bill but how it affects Trump’s policies moving forward. It’s 1/6 of the budget, so good luck getting the budget rammed through now. The savings from this tax cut were supposed to roll over into the tax cut that’s coming for the rest of us.

    It was all going to be so perfect.

  10. Trump’s Twitter account works when he’s able to control the narrative and has some measure of support for whatever he’s pushing. In this case, he wasn’t able to get any traction. The GOP base was in revolt and the general public polls were horrible.

    He did right by pulling back and letting Ryan and the Establishment wing stand there holding the bag.

    I say the GOP can still escape responsibility for Obamacare’s failure IF they take up a new bill by mid 2018 and IF it is something the House GOP can agree upon. The closer it gets to the midterms, the more pressure Trump will have to bring on recalcitrant congressmen.

  11. I’d love to believe you but I don’t see a way out of this for republicans. Trump just publicly stated to the Washington post today your theory that trump will just kick his feet up, watch Obamacare die and then make a deal when the democrats come back to kiss his feet. It’s a sweet public message to say you have no issue leaving quite literally the lives of Americans hanging in the balance until you get to rename Obamacare and send it back out into the public as flawed as the day it hit the congressional agenda, but this is imo trump’s capitulation. He’s just going to break all the crayons because the teacher didn’t choose his drawing.

    I don’t get why people are saying democrats are going to lose by obstructing this bill. Republicans did this the last six years and got a super majority for it.

    I’ve been saying it all this time; the republicans still do not understand why they were votwd in. It was not to repeal Obamacare it was to fix the premiums so they didn’t have to pay for it. This will not go away.

    There is no solution at this point that will be acceptable but free healthcare. Republicans are free to rename it, implement oversight into prescription costs, etc but repealing it and hiding a tax cut for the wealthy in its replacement is just hastening the pitchforks.

  12. I would recommend you watch the messaging coming out of the White House for the next year about how Obamacare is failing. By the time public fervor is at a fever pitch, Trump will be reminding everyone that he was willing to sign a bill back in March 2017, but Congress failed to send one to his desk despite his best efforts to persuade them.

    He’s safe.

    Congress must repeal Obamacare and then work on a replacement. If they’re not going to go the full free market route that me and the Freedom Caucus want, then they need to include Democrats in the discussion and pass something with bipartisan support.

    Or they could just do that other thing I suggested and just go for universal single payer and get it over with already.

  13. Bannon’s is not a shrewd message maker. His resume consists of raging against the machine from an edgelord political blog, and funding Michael Moore type documentaries that get attention by triggering the fuck out of people. He is now the machine he raged against with no real strategy to control the narrative except to say it’s all fake news.

    It’s purely an ideological bogeyman the republicans are fighting at this point. They fully support and approved to expand the va, but somehow this is beyond the pale? They’re catatonic.

    Aside from that the appeal here is to get the responsibilry of insuring people off the backs of employers. Workers that can contract because they aren’t chained to a job for benefits, and employers that can save money not having to fund them is the only way forward.

    People’s attitudes are changing because full time employment is a luxury and they have no alternatives.

  14. good luck getting the budget rammed through now.

    Uhh, the budget requires a simple majority to pass, and if there’s one thing Politicians like, it’s pork. Easy to bribe for votes there.

    And even if they fail to pass one, Obama went six years without even submitting one for Congress to pass, while skyrocketing the debt at the same time.

  15. This from the person who last night told me trump would be able to force compliance from republicans to pass the bill has got to be the most pathetic lack of self awareness I’ve ever witnessed.

    36 definite no votes. 16 no votes without amendments. A. Complete. Mutiny.

  16. Granted your skills at self awareness and prediction of surroundings are superb, I’m still going to have to say you’re off your rocker.

  17. This from the person who last night told me trump would be able to force compliance from republicans to pass the bill has got to be the most pathetic lack of self awareness I’ve ever witnessed.

    Que?

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