Skip to comments.Conservative Republicans are Today's Biggest Losers
Posted on 03/24/2017 8:05:54 PM PDT by ckinv368
The Republican effort to repeal and replace Obamacarethe American Health Care Actfinally came up for a final vote in the House. First put forward by Speaker Paul Ryan in 2009, it offered few surprises to Republicans. And the effort itself was very familiar, as Republicans had voted over 60 times to repeal Obamacare since its passage eight years ago. Yet, when the time came to exercise the prerogative of the majority and finally repeal and replace President Obamas deeply flawed social program, Republicans came up short.
Over the past two weeks, moderate Republicans argued that they could not vote for a plan that did not keep certain fail-safe protections for the elderly in place. Conservative Republicansmany in the so-called Freedom Caucuscomplained that Ryans plan kept popular portions of Obamacare on the books. They wanted a complete repeal, and many would accept nothing less. In the end, no-one got their wish. As Speaker Ryan admitted this afternoon, we are going to be living with Obamacare for the foreseeable future. This, in part, because the Trump Administration refuses to have its agenda held hostage. It is sidelining healthcare and moving forward with tax reform.
Democrats are celebrating Republican missteps. And the collective finger-pointing within the Republican establishment has already begun in earnest. An early contender for sacrificial lamb is Speaker Ryan.
Without doubt, Ryans plan was far from perfect. As provisions were added, modified, and deleted, it became less a divination of policy genius, and more a Golden Corral smorgasbord of disparate measures designed to keep factions of the Republican Party moderately happy. Deficit reduction went down. Entitlements and complexity increased. Projections of coverage availability plummeted. Was it the plan any Republican in the House could fall in love with? Certainly not. Was it a plan that could get past a centrist-Republican Senate which had expressed significant doubts? Possibly.
Some have already blamed Ryan for failing to whip the necessary Republican votes to pass the bill. Indications were that he was as few as five votes short. With additional tweaks, pressure, threats, and a hard weekend push, the bill may have gotten across the goal line. However, that effort may have created so much ill-will that it could have hobbled the Presidents policy goals for the next four years.
Conservative Republicans have been quick to point fingers at moderate Republicans, saying that these RINOs merely wanted to pass Obamacare-lite, without real change. However, the reality for Republicans in swing districts is that its politically difficult to remove insurance from a projected 24 million Americans over the next decade. Taking entitlements away is much more painful than granting them. And, it should also be remembered that moderate Republicans were much more willing to compromise in this effort than their hard-line brethren.
While pointing fingers, conservative Republicans in Congress should look in the mirror. Maybe these Republicans meant well, in a naïve sort of way. After all, Rep. Paul Gosar of Arizona (a dentist) told The Washington Post that he came to Washington to do health care right. Rep. Louie Gohmert said that a no vote means we save Donald Trump from a Democratic majority in 2019. Others vehemently argue that Obamacare should be immediately repealed, but that Congress should give itself until midterms to pontificate over a replacement (all, while millions of Americans lose health coverage). Unfortunately, none of this is politically feasible. Was the American Health Care Act exactly what the Freedom Caucus wanted? No. Did it offer conservatives the best healthcare deal they may ever get? Probably. The time had come to pass a plan that could receive 216 votes in the House, and 51 in the Senate. Conservative Republicans blew it big time.
By comparison, President Trump is nothing if not pragmatic. In an interview with Robert Costa of The Washington Post, he argued that his next efforts at healthcare reform will garner bi-partisan support once Obamacare premiums exponentially increase, coverage options decrease, and the program implodes. This is good politics. But, a bi-partisan effort guarantees that the Freedom Caucus will be locked out of negotiations, with the bill too centrist for their taste. Trump said so himself. When asked whether a bi-partisan bill would free him from having to court those farthest to the Right, he replied a lot of people might say that, opining that such a possibility would end up with a better health-care plan. A great plan. And you wouldnt need the Freedom Caucus.
There is an old saying in Texas that seems particularly appropriate: "pigs get fat, but hogs get slaughtered." That colloquialism pretty much sums up the predicament conservative Republicans now find themselves in. By asking for too much, being too greedy, and demanding unrealistic provisions that had little chance of surviving a Senate vote, they may have shown themselves expendable. Theres little doubt in my mind that the healthcare debate is not over. But conservative Republicans and the Freedom Caucus may be left out of the fold the next time votes are counted.
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I only feel bad that Trump embraced it and trusted Ryan.
Hey Trump, Ryan is an alligator in the swamp, I hope you learned your lesson and have been playing nice to see all the cards and how the the alligators all play.
LOL. If you didn’t want anyone touching your strawman, you shouldn’t have placed him out there in the open.
Nice I-know-you-are-but-what-am-I, PeeWee.
Wow, you don’t pull any punches do you? I’d better quit now, before you totally mop the floor with me. I hope you and your leftest bedfellows enjoy your tremendous victory! Bye
“your leftest bedfellows”
And there’s the guilt-by-association to complete the logical-fallacy hat trick. Bravo!
Boy, you can sure dish out hefty scoops of moralizing smugness.
Just keep your eyes open. This was not any sort of repeal. It was a name change and some rearrangement but the core of it was left in place. That is the essential evil of it. Trump surely does not sound like someone who has lost something. DJT seems to have impinged on your awareness very recently if you are that unfamiliar with his methods. Give it a few more weeks and you will see that things are not as you have imagined.
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