Thursday, July 20, 2017

Was Trump Responsible For GOP Healthcare Bill Collapse?

Ezra Klein is an expert on healthcare.  He argues that the GOP failed to pass its healthcare bill because Trump, unlike Obama, did not understand the policy details.  Therefore, he was unable to sell the bill to the public and to GOP senators.  Klein is right about Trump's ignorance of the policy details.  Trump clearly explained his role in turning the bill into law.  He told senators that he was ready to sign any bill.  This was their opportunity to send a healthcare bill to the president without having to worry about a veto.  Trump was not in a position to sell the bill to the public because, other than repealing Obamacare, it did not provide any of the things that he promised his supporters during his election campaign. Trump let conservatives in Congress, who would prefer to keep the government out of the healthcare market, fight with Republicans who wanted a bill that conformed to GOP ideology.  The final product was a mess.  Cutting Medicaid spending in order to pay for tax cuts, and to perhaps reduce the federal budget deficit, was bound to reduce benefits and the number of insured Americans.  That was not enough to get conservatives and moderates on board with the bill.  They failed to sell 50 out of 52 Republican senators on the final product. The bottom line is that Republicans don't really care about providing healthcare to needy Americans.  They are only united about repealing Obamacare.  Trump failed to add value to what united Republican senators because he just wanted to declare victory on repealing Obamacare.  His populist election campaign slogans have been forgotten.  The Republican Party remains the anti-government party with the exception of defense and a few other priorities.

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