No one should be surprised that Trump’s first big legislative initiative collapsed in a cloud of chaos. Deliberately neglecting bipartisan negotiations, the POTUS easily grew weary of bargaining and delivered an ultimatum:
Pass this bill, or Obamacare stays.
In a relieving display of logic and unified strength, Congress has demonstrated that Trump’s usual way of leading through intimidation won’t work. CNN and other networks reported the results in real time and left the bill’s advocates humiliated and diminished. House Republicans pulled the infamous ‘Repeal-and-Replace’ bill just ahead of a scheduled vote, handing both Ryan and Trump a major defeat. Trump, characteristically, blamed Democrats for not supporting him and when asked about what lessons he learned from the loss, Trump answered: “We learned a lot about loyalty. And we learned a lot about the vote-getting process.” Sounds like the grade-school composition notebook “Blacklist” is being crafted as we speak.
During the process, Trump never once reached out to a member of the Democratic leadership to discuss policy matters or votes.
From the outset, this commander of confusion has lacked an understanding of how the legislative system works and likely continues to ignore those around him who actually do. His negotiation tactics also show that he lacks a leadership style suited for dealing with hundreds of members of Congress who are each powerful political figures in their own districts. During the process, Trump never once reached out to a member of the Democratic leadership to discuss policy matters or votes- as confirmed by the respective offices of House Minority Leaders Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer. Finally, and most importantly, we can see that he does not possess the temperament of his predecessors who respected the legislative process.
Trump’s next course of action on healthcare is not surprising, yet supremely cynical, and reveals the Republican Party’s real agenda. Getting rid of Obamacare at any cost is more important to Trump and his party than acting to improve the health care system for the people they represent. Rather than try to help people, Trump will actively avoid helping. Admittedly seeing problems in the health care system, their plan is to stand by and do nothing while people suffer. Even if you believe his highly debatable premise that the Affordable Care Act is irreparable, what he’s saying is that because he and the Republican-controlled Congress failed at their first attempt, they will now do nothing to solve the problems with the American health care system they have been decrying since inception.
Trump’s next course of action on healthcare is not surprising, yet supremely cynical, and reveals the Republican Party’s real agenda.
This isn’t “helping Obamacare,” it’s helping Americans. There’s no such thing as Obamacare anymore. It’s just the national health insurance system. Whatever its deficiencies, the Affordable Care Act was an effort to make the lives of Americans better by expanding health coverage to millions, and creating new consumer protections against health insurance industry practices like refusing to cover people with pre-existing conditions. At this point ― seven years after Obama signed the Affordable Care Act into law ― legislating and regulating to make its health insurance markets work better is a responsibility Trump and congressional Republicans accepted when they took their oaths of office. We shall see just how much Trump and his team actually care about the health of Americans now that he is the weekend’s biggest loser.