Opinion: Now we see if President Trump can take a punch

President Donald Trump, flanked by Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price, left, and Vice President Mike Pence, meets with members of the media regarding the health care overhaul bill, Friday. (AP Photo / Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

Back to the drawing board (from the AJC):

“House Republican leaders have shelved legislation that would repeal and replace Obamacare, according to multiple media reports. … The fate of the White House-backed measure, known as the American Health Care Act, is unclear moving forward. White House officials previously told GOP lawmakers that they would move on to other issues if the current health care bill failed on Friday.”

This is a bloody nose for Speaker Paul Ryan and President Trump, both of whom staked a lot on getting this bill through the House and on to the Senate, where significant changes presumably were on tap. Trump previously indicated that, in the event the bill stalled, he would leave Obamacare in place and move on to other issues. But it’s far from clear he can get away with that. Repealing and replacing Obamacare is a GOP promise that predates Trump’s entry into politics, much less his presidency, and Republicans will be hard-pressed now to leave Americans stuck with a crumbling law and hope they blame Democrats as it continues to fall apart.

The urgent questions aren’t just for Ryan and Trump, though. The House Freedom Caucus drove this result, egged on by conservative groups such as Freedom Works and the Heritage Foundation. But as with the removal of John Boehner as speaker, which led to the elevation not of Ryan rather than one of the caucus’ own members, it’s highly uncertain that this group of 40 or so lawmakers has the wherewithal to push a rival plan that could actually pass the House. Remember: Moderate Republicans had their doubts about this bill, too.

The House bill was far from perfect, but it might have represented the bulk of what could be done within the limits of the arcane budget reconciliation process. Some Freedom Caucus members and others suggested a clean repeal of Obamacare could be made via reconciliation, with a more comprehensive replacement plan passed later outside that process. That seems like pie in the sky. For one, the public was not going to be satisfied with losing the bird in the hand without any guarantee there even is a bush, much less another bird in it; status quo bias is a real thing. For another, it’s fantasy to believe Democrats were going to go along with a replacement bill simply because Obamacare was gone. And, short of winning eight more Senate seats next year, amid this political mess, that leaves Republicans trying to pass a new bill via … wait for it … the reconciliation process.

Fortunes change quickly in Washington, and Trump in particular has defied the laws of political gravity many times over the past couple of years. But this failure will be a real test of his ability to be truly different from other politicians.

Reader Comments 0

104 comments
McGarnagle
McGarnagle

So Trump will move onto tax reform. Who here is fooling themselves to think this would be easy? There are still some divisions within the GOP and everyone thought they would compromise on healthcare. When dealing with tax money, everyone will want their say.


The freedom caucus is proving they are more trouble then their worth.

CaraR.Penn
CaraR.Penn

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AndyManUSA#45
AndyManUSA#45

 CHUCK TODD: Alright, Hugh. I'm gonna start with you because this is what the Washington Examiner headline is: GOP Cave on Obamacare Repeal is the Biggest Broken Promise in Political History, was the top of, I believe, Phil Klein's, analysis. Is he right?


HUGH HEWITT: No, it's overstated. We had a very good week with Neil Gorsuch, he's going to change the balance of the Supreme Court for 30 years and so President Trump has a huge win to put on the table this week. It was a big loss, but I agree with the autopsy that Director Mulvaney just put out there - that loss isn't on the president, it isn't on Paul Ryan, it is on the Area 51 sub-caucus of the Freedom Caucus which believes in legislative flying saucers that ignore the Senate, and the Senate rules, and the reconciliation rules. They own the loss, nobody else.


Fact

breckenridge
breckenridge

@AndyManUSA#45 

We'll see about Gorsuch.  Of course any justice that would vote to restrict abortion rights is a completely worthless human being, a dirty filthy slimebag traitor that wants to legislate his religious beliefs.

Pub Heaven
Pub Heaven

And here you just told us it was the fault of them godless Democrats...

breckenridge
breckenridge

March 25 - Yesterday, Pat Robertson kicked off “The 700 Club” by declaring that the American Health Care Act, the Republican bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, “is going to pass” and “they’re going to give Trump a victory.”

“It’s going to go through the Senate, and we’re all going to rejoice that we’re going to pay less on health care,” he said. "I know the Lord is going to give Trump a victory and God is using this president to do great things."


God hates Pat Robertson and all social conservatives. Satan has a comfy room waiting for ol' Pat when he finally kicks the bucket.

AndyManUSA#45
AndyManUSA#45

Only the really dumb ones are blaming President Trump. Everybody else is piling on the Republicans. The heat has been turned up in the land of the squishy.

AndyManUSA#45
AndyManUSA#45

As much as I could could care less about bill kristol, he brought up a couple of good points; hillycare was laughed out of committee in a democrat controlled Congress and it took obozo 15 months to get obamacare passed

MarkVV
MarkVV

@AndyManUSA#45 Yes, it took the Democrats 15 months to pass ACA. The incompetent liar we have now in the White House promised he would pass his healthcare bill “immediately,” then he discovered healthcare was “very complicated,” failed to do the necessary work, his Press Secretary promised the miserable bill “would pass,” and the dealmaker failed to close the deal.

AndyManUSA#45
AndyManUSA#45

The freedom caucus is getting scorched. Listen to them squeal. This thing isn't done by any measure. Jim Jordan just practically begged the Republicans to get back to work on it.


The Master Negotiater/ Deal Maker. Fact. All he did was place their heads in the vise and started tightening the screws. You saved planned "parenthood." You own obamacare.


Look at them sweat. 

AndyManUSA#45
AndyManUSA#45

"I'll go to the democrats and get it done."


lol

lvg
lvg

Trump flops again on his promises while living large at Mar Largo and Trump Tower at the goober's expense. 

breckenridge
breckenridge

South Carolina senator Lindsey Graham faced a tough crowd at a Town Hall meeting yesterday.  But at least he faced the tough crowd, unlike the cowardly Georgia congressmen, who will only do Town Hall meetings over the telephone.

DeepStateDawg
DeepStateDawg

Pretty funny that Trump said it would be easy huh? 


And that we'd be winning so much we'd be tired of winning? Oh boy. What a doozy!


And him calling Hillary "Lyin Hillary". Man, this guy! Am I right? 


And the whole thing about Obama using the British to spy on him? Wowza! 


Oh yeah... and the "media are the enemy of the state" thing. Almost forgot. 


He just keeps hitting them out of the park... EASY!

metitotktodd
metitotktodd

Has the sick psychopath racist bigot rapist narcissist liar bully Fascist hypocrite egomaniac Trump who cheated to steal the election with the help of the Russians, the FBI, voter suppression and the crooked media been impeached yet?  Make America Hate Again.  Make America Racist Again.  Make America White Again.  Make America an Oligarchy of the 1% Again.  Make America Christian Again

DawnE.Hicks
DawnE.Hicks

  my classmate's mom makes 80 an hour from home. she's been fired from work for 9 months but last month her income was 17183 just working on the internet for a few hours each week. see this

http://gee.su/uwr2X

AndyManUSA#45
AndyManUSA#45

Democrats just could not help themselves, rejoicing on camera over the humiliation of the Republicans.  They are celebrating the disaster that will unfold, and those clips will live on in GOP video ads.  They reiterated their continuing ownership of Obamacare with this celebration.


Fact.

Pub Heaven
Pub Heaven

Gee, I hope you're not tired of losing yet, Andy.

AndyManUSA#45
AndyManUSA#45

@Pub Heaven You should really grasp the fact of how badly you have been suckered.


This Trump guy is pretty good.

lvg
lvg

@AndyManUSA#45 Just keep taxing the hospitals to the tune of $800 million for another  three years like Legislature  and Shady did and the Reagancare model of pure socialism to pay for care of the poor and elderly keeps on rolling while Andy and the Stupid Party claims the Dems are the socialists.



Repubs  can't escape from the preexisting  conditions trap Obama laid for them without a mandate or universal coverage. Keep screaming and hollering goobers!

JFMcNamara
JFMcNamara

@AndyManUSA#45 @Pub Heaven He is pretty good a lying and failing.


The "Muslim ban" was a failure.  The ACHA was a failure in which he broke he broke his campaign promise.  Mexico isn't paying for the wall.  He is so bad at hiring that he basically hired a Russian spy in Flynn. 


On top of that, he lied about Obama wire tapping him, and Kellyanne Conway lied so much on his behalf she had to be silenced.


That's 4 years worth of screw ups in less than 100 days....

Toby
Toby

Back when the Democrats were in the process of trying  to pass Obamacare, did not Nancy Pelosi want the bill passed without the specifics being talked about. Maybe the Republicans were not too wise showing their hand about the contents of their bill.

breckenridge
breckenridge

Andy.........here is a book you must read.


Ratf**cked by David Daley


With Barack Obama’s historic election in 2008, pundits proclaimed the Republicans as dead as the Whigs of yesteryear. Yet even as Democrats swooned, a small cadre of Republican operatives, including Karl Rove, Ed Gillespie, and Chris Jankowski began plotting their comeback with a simple yet ingenious plan. These men had devised a way to take a tradition of dirty tricks―known to political insiders as “ratf**king”―to a whole new, unprecedented level. Flooding state races with a gold rush of dark money made possible by Citizens United, the Republicans reshaped state legislatures, where the power to redistrict is held. Reconstructing this never- told-before story, David Daley examines the far-reaching effects of this so-called REDMAP program, which has radically altered America’s electoral map and created a firewall in the House, insulating the party and its wealthy donors from popular democracy. Ratf**ked pulls back the curtain on one of the greatest heists in American history.

bu22
bu22

Small failure for Trump.  Big failure for Ryan.  Yuuuuge failure for the Freedom Caucus.  Gigantic failure for America.

carterjoseph1950
carterjoseph1950

It has been obvious for decades that Trump can dish it out, but can't take it. But he has never had facts on his side, just bluster.

He can talk faster than anyone but never has one thing to say except how great he is. Finally, interviewers and clients just give up and either walk away or let him get his way. Penetrate his bubble? Not gonna happen until he is made to give up this office for which he is manifestly unfit. 


But to give the Mad Tweeter his due, he certainly did look presidential yesterday, while his 'plan' was going down, when he climbed into that big black Mack Truck. When he started playing with the steering wheel and honked that horn, playing like a trucker, I picked my jaw up from the floor and laughed out loud. Ridiculous, even for him.


I thought, wow, there's a big boy!  Who's a big boy? You're a big boy! Yes you are! Yes you are! 

Cobbian
Cobbian

"...short of winning eight more Senate seats next year, amid this political mess, that leaves Republicans trying to pass a new bill via … wait for it … the reconciliation process."


How about both political parties re-learning how to work across party lines.  There are more than enough Dems and Pubs who do care about working to assure affordable and accessible health care.  More than enough without the Freedom Caucus, the tail of the Republican Party which actually controls it's ability to achieve legislation that really works for most citizens, not just the few. 


The Repubs have spent 7 years complaining and promising "repeal"; fewer years actually even considering the need to "replace".  But they did finally come to realize that they would have to deal with what would replace the ACA, since there would have been devastating chaos with only "repeal."  But they were absolutely unprepared to propose a plan not only that they could agree on but that could actually assure the voting public that it would work.  They had less than 20% support for that horror Ryan finally put together.


The big, big problem for the Repubs is their own extreme far right.  So, stop letting them control the entire Repub Party and start working with Democrats.

bu22
bu22

@Cobbian And the Democrats will work with this administration on health care when pigs fly.  Your belief is even more unrealistic than that of the Freedom Caucus.

JFMcNamara
JFMcNamara

@bu22 @Cobbian Democrats,  American polling and Trump's message all align.   They all claim to want cheaper,  better coverage.  If that is true, then he needs to abandon the Freedom caucus and go to the Democrats.  They would work with him if he tried and came with a good plan.

Starik
Starik

@JFMcNamara @bu22 @Cobbian Unless you do to a national health system where costs of doctors, drugs and hospitals are reduced substantially, nothing will work.

breckenridge
breckenridge

Just 17% of Americans approved of the republican healthcare bill prior to the vote yesterday.  And it was pulled because 31 republicans indicated they would vote no on the bill.


So now it becomes the duty of both parties to go in and fix the problems with Obamacare. Is the will to do so there? We'll see, but I'm skeptical.

ECGAI
ECGAI

Even Republican congressmen rejected the Trump/Ryan "Wealth Care" bill. When this administration can come up with a bill which benefits American citizens more than wealthy taxpayer and corporations it will have a chance - even with Democrats.

AndyManUSA#45
AndyManUSA#45

President Trump tried to save the health care system. I was fully behind that effort because it was the right thing to do for the country, considering how much harm obamacare will do being left in place. We failed not because we didn't try, not because we didn't give a good faith effort, we failed because the democrats in Congress decided that a mindless political victory was better for them, even though the damage that will be done to the country is horrific. 


What do they care how much America suffers when they can gloat about it for a day or two?

gemmy19
gemmy19

You, Andy, are a real stupid and a go along with anything type of guy as long as it suits your agenda. You just want to make President Obama look bad so you can make bozo donnie look good. Sorry boy, you have failed!! (Laughing hysterically)

breckenridge
breckenridge

@AndyManUSA#45 

You're completely full of crap.  The republicans could not get enough votes from their own party to pass the bill.

bu22
bu22

@AndyManUSA#45 We failed because a group of Republicans would rather lose and fail America than not get their way.  Its the same group that gave us Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton.

Pub Heaven
Pub Heaven

When you adopt Trumps' language and spin like that, do you mimic his voice as well?

lvg
lvg

Only way preexisting conditions can be automatically covered in any plan is having universal  coverage with everyone paying into the system.


Stupid Party embraced mandatory coverage for preexisting conditions but tried to pull all the financial supports and mandates out of Obamacare.


These clowns proved they know nothing about health care coverage.


Where does that leave Georgia with no expanded Medicaid and rural hospitals closing  due to lack of public funding?


But we got Glocks on campus instead.


bu22
bu22

@lvg Pre-existing conditions already exist!  Allowing for pre-existing conditions is mostly allowing people to switch jobs and switch health plans.  Make it like auto insurance.  You go into the high risk pool if you haven't previously had coverage.  On the other hand, if you have had coverage and are simply switching plans, your pre-existing issues get covered.

Pub Heaven
Pub Heaven

"Stupid Party embraced mandatory coverage for preexisting conditions but tried to pull all the financial supports and mandates out of Obamacare."

So now we know who Really believes in a Free Lunch.

Another comment
Another comment

Here are the easy fixes move every one age 50-65 into their choice of a Medicare Advantage or standard Medicare plan plus a Part D plan and a supplemental plan. REquire negotiation of Drugs for participation in all Federal plans Medicare, Medicaid, VA, FEHB Tricare. Folks 50-65 would pay Medicare rate 125 plus an early buy in rate , then that could be reduced based on income subsides. Someone buying at 64 would pay less than someone buying inat 50. Since they would be missing 15 years of payroll taxes in their equation.

This would lower the base pool for everyone else. I would also reduce the staying on parents plan down to 24. And require then to be unmarried and prove they are still in college. Or or age 20 if not in college. We need these healthy folks in the other pool. To bring this pool down to ave of 22-50 year olds. So you have those under 30, then those under 40 and those under 50 in your three risk bands. Your rates will drop. Now your panalty must be set up similarly to the Medicare penalty each year you go without insurance then your premium will forever be 10% higher than it would when you joined. So instead of signing up for 150 when your 22, you skip until Wr when you get married when you are 25 . That rate is 180 with a 1.30 penalty 234.00 would be your monthly cost. So say next year rates go up and to 200 for a 26 year old you have a 30% penalty factor so you pay $260 because you went three years without insurance. That penalty goes in a hospital uninsured fund.

Narrow networks except in true HMO's like Kaiser or integrated systems like the Cleveland Clinic or Mayo Clinic or Molina Healthcare where their goal is to treat the whole patient is to be limited.

Why can't we just merge the Federal Employees plans. Just do a mirror plan and Ollie small business and groups and individuals to buy. Allow folks to use their premium support instead of government contrubution, now that we take out the sicker group the 50-65 group. It is a group that has actors who compete across state lines.

AndyManUSA#45
AndyManUSA#45

Like the old saying goes, when ever you see your enemy trying to kill themselves, lend them a helping hand. 


And if they want to go down with the ship, who are we to fault them?



breckenridge
breckenridge

@AndyManUSA#45 

Andy not only was the failure of the GOP healthcare bill a failure for the party and the president, but it was also a huge failure for you personally.  Yes, that's correct, the guy that sat at his computer last Sunday night and assured us that the Ryan plan would be passed, that it was going to be a great week for Trump, that it would show the mooches a thing or two, blah blah blah.


You know jack-squat about politics.

gemmy19
gemmy19

I know Andy, Thats exactly what the repugs will end up doing along with their incompetent child leader.

breckenridge
breckenridge

How incredibly pathetic.  These House republicans, for the past 7 years, voted time after time after time after time to repeal Obamacare.  But when push came to shove? They showed their true colors, they're just a bunch of little jack-jaw backseat drivers who don't have the testosterone levels necessary to do the hard work of real men.


It does make Trump look weak too, although it's certainly not his fault.

AndyManUSA#45
AndyManUSA#45

Watch the idiot democrats do an end zone celebration when they aren't even in uniform -


Trump put a more positive spin on it: He says he's going to wait for Democrats to come to him, and then they'll work on a new health care bill together. "They're going to reach out whenever they're ready," Trump said. But his message was the same: Democrats will come to him because Obamacare is about to have "a very bad year" with "explosive premium increases."


The new talking point: "If we can't change the law on our own, and the law is what Obama and [Nancy] Pelosi and [Harry] Reid passed, pretty hard to say it's the GOP's fault," the senior Republican aide said.


Like  a cat plays with a mouse. 


Will they ever learn?

Pub Heaven
Pub Heaven

So Andy believes the only health bill possible will come from the Republican President and the Democrat Party.

Since we've seen that the Republican President and the Republican Party can't manage it.

gemmy19
gemmy19

Andy, they had to say something to save face.....

bu22
bu22

@AndyManUSA#45 Yeah, but that's not going to sell.   We've had 8 years of the president blaming everyone but himself and his party got decimated and a reality TV star from the other party became president.