The effort to “repeal and replace” Obamacare is being met with resistance…from BOTH sides of the Political Aisle.
The Associated Press reports that
Less than twenty-four hours after Donald Trump had won the White House, House Speaker Paul Ryan triumphantly proclaimed the start of a new era of Republican leadership that would “hit the ground running. “Six weeks into Trump’s administration, Republicans are running — just in different directions.
As congressional leaders move forward with efforts to undo former President Barack Obama’s health care law, conservative activists and GOP lawmakers are slamming the proposal as “Obamacare lite,” ”Obamacare 2.0″ and “RINOcare” — RINO standing for Republicans In Name Only, a term of derision.
Swing state senators worry that their sickest and poorest constituents could lose access to health care. Republican governors fear that millions of people now covered by Medicaid could be dropped, a step the governors warn could hurt GOP candidates in their states.
“We’ve said all along, ‘Work with the governors,'” said Gov. Brian Sandoval, R-Nev. “Well, they came out with their own bill, which doesn’t include anything that the governors have talked about.”
Republican leaders hoped unified control of Washington would unite the party around years of campaign promises to dismantle the Affordable Care Act, cut taxes and slash regulations.
Instead, the celebratory weeks that followed Trump’s victory seem to have been little more than a temporary cease-fire in a years long GOP civil war.
“There are people who haven’t adjusted to the fact that we have a Republican president,” said Michael Steel, a former top adviser to onetime Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, who frequently tangled with tea party-aligned lawmakers. “These guys could wind up leading the cavalry charge straight into machine-gun fire.”
The health care battle is probably the first of many intraparty clashes to come. Already, plans to overhaul tax laws have Republicans tied in knots, budget hawks are skeptical about Trump’s $1 trillion infrastructure plan and senior GOP lawmakers have rejected major pieces of his upcoming budget proposal.
The White House realizes that it must win over many of the objectors. With Democratic voters demanding nothing short of complete resistance to Trump, congressional passage of the Republican agenda will depend largely on party-line votes. That leaves limited room for GOP defections.
In a Wednesday meeting with the leaders of conservative groups, Trump positioned himself as the good cop in the conflict, taking what one participant described as a series of veiled shots at Ryan. The president argued that his team was at least meeting with conservative activists, according to the participant, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe private discussions.
Trump also reminded the activists of his strong support among the conservative base and said he planned to campaign in states he won, in an effort to pressure their unsupportive lawmakers.
“I want to be as helpful to the Trump administration as I can. I’m very supportive of the president. I support him, I want to help him. But respect has to go up and down the street, it’s got to go both ways,” said Rep. Gary Palmer, R-Ala., a member of the hard-line House Freedom Caucus.
At least one conservative group is already running digital ads against the GOP health care plan, arguing that the tax credits in the bill essentially replace one federal entitlement with another. Activists plan to swarm Capitol Hill to demand Congress pass a repeal bill that would completely erase all trace of Obama’s signature domestic achievement.
“This is not something that is easy for us to say, ‘OK, we’ll take half a loaf,'” said Adam Brandon, head of the conservative activist group FreedomWorks. “What Senate Leader Mitch McConnell promised when he was on the campaign trail was we’re going to repeal Obamacare root and branch. So what we’re asking him to do is repeal — root and branch.”
Republican leaders attribute some of the discord to inexperience. Just one-quarter of House Republicans ever served in the majority with a Republican president, meaning the vast majority of their members have spent their congressional careers focused solely on blocking a Democratic administration’s agenda and fighting their own leadership.
During the Obama years, conservative lawmakers ousted incumbent Republicans, brought down a House speaker and pushed presidential candidates to the right.
“When you have a president of another party you can freelance all you want to but now we have an actual chance to change the country,” said McConnell, R-Ky., speaking at a breakfast hosted by Politico. “We need to get into a governing mode and start thinking about actually achieving something rather than just sparring.”
Shifting public opinion has also complicated the calculus for Republicans, increasing the political risk of giving into conservative demands for a total rollback of the health law.
Since Trump’s election, polls show the law gaining in popularity. Over the congressional recess last month, GOP lawmakers faced raucous town halls and furious protesters demanding to keep their coverage.
If the GOP is unable to make good on seven years of election promises to repeal the law, they risk entering the 2018 elections without a tangible achievement and angering a Republican base that spent years fighting to get rid of the Affordable Care Act.
But if millions lose access to health coverage as a result of the GOP bill, it could expose members in swing districts to fierce attacks.
“Governing is tough,” says Robert Blendon, an expert on public attitudes about health care at Harvard University. “Some Republicans didn’t think through the politics of taking away coverage for 21 million people who now have it.”
Trump was elected President, to a great degree, because he is NOT a professional politician.
He is an American who wanted to make a difference.
That being the case, his penchant for not beating around the bush, i.e., being direct in his statements and actions, immediately put him at odds with the Vichy Republicans of the G.O.P.
The President is doing his best to fulfill all of the campaign promises he made to those of us who voted for him last November.
There are two impediments to him keeping his promises: the Democratic Party…and the Republican Party.
For every promise that we hear from Paul Ryan and the G.O.P . that they are going to support and assist Trump is fulfilling his campaign promises, there are also deals being struck in the Congressional Coatroom, where “business as usual” has always been conducted on Capitol Hill.
The Establishment Republicans seem to be quite content, in their moderately left-leaning stupor, even after the mandate that We The People delivered to them on November 8th, 2016, to be totally oblivious and tone deaf of their Base, average hard working middle-class Americans like you and me.
You know, the people who actually put them into office.
They keep on making bad choices.
Spineless Vichy Republicans have been a barrier to Republican victory for as long as I can remember. Like Quakers, Establishment Republicans seem to believe that passive resistance and reaching out to their sworn enemies as “friends”, is the way to defeat those who oppose you.
It has been especially bad during Obama’s reign, as the House and Senate Republican Leadership apparently cherished their friendship with the Democrats more than they did the wishes of the folks back home. Yes, they talked a good game, but so did Jon Lovitz in those “Liar Sketches” during the old days of Saturday Night Live, back when they were actually funny.
Yeah, my wife Morgan Fairchild. Yeah, that’s it. That’s the ticket!
I am afraid that the noble sentiments that we hear and the “Hail Fellow well met” reaction to President Trump that we see from Paul Ryan and the rest of the entrenched Republicans are a reenactment of William Shakepeare’s “Julius Caesar”.
Beware the Ides of March.
Meanwhile, on the other side of the Political Aisle, you have San Fran Nan Pelosi and the rest of Democrats criticizing every single move that Trump makes…sometimes even before he makes one.
Backing them up is the Main Stream Media, like the Associated Press, who word their articles about Trump very carefully in their role as the Propaganda Arm of the Democratic Party.
However, they can not hide their bias. Their hatred of the 45th President shines through in both their prose and the individuals they use as sources for their articles.
Take “Robert Blendon of Harvard University” for example.
Prior to coming to Harvard, Dr. Blendon was Senior Vice-President at the Robert Woods Foundation.
This same foundation was mentioned in an article written by Daniel Horowitz titled “How the left and progressive foundations gave us ObamaCare — a law hated by so many” was posted on June 25, 2012 on foxnews.com…
Perhaps most influential was the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the largest philanthropy focused exclusively on health care. Long a backer of universal health care coverage, the foundation spent millions in the 90s backing state and national efforts to pass legislation expanding government-provided health care and even sponsored community forums in which Hillary Clinton promoted her health-care plan—this despite being ostensibly nonpartisan. Such was the foundation’s financial influence on the health care debate that by 1995 it alone accounted for almost 45 percent of all giving in the area of health policy in America.
Like the song goes,
It’s a small world after all.
To summarize, Trump is catching flack from both sides of the Political Aisle.
Clowns to the left of me…jokers to the right…here I am…
I believe that he will be able to navigate his way through these shark-infested waters.
The success that he has achieved as President so far is not just a three-hour tour and he is not Skipper Jonas Grumby.
Although, Congressman Paul Ryan does resemble Gilligan.
But, I digress…
Until He Comes,