Since its conception, Obamacare, or the Affordable Care Act, has been the most disliked achievement by Democrats in quite a long time. If you were a Republican at a campaign rally, you were going to discuss Obamacare at some point, and what you were going to say would most likely not be positive. For eight years, that is all that Republicans could do. They could try to repeal the bill only to have the repeal rejected at the president’s desk, they could publicly denounce it and point out the rising premiums and how it was bad for the very people it covered, but that was it.
But when Donald Trump won the presidency in November 2016, a glimmer of hope was cast upon the Republican party and the prospect of a repeal but more than that, a replacement, of Obamacare, was on the horizon. Speaker of the House Paul Ryan published his legislative agenda detailing his plans for the future, and in it was his replacement for Obamacare: so-called “RyanCare”, or the American Health Care Act (AHCA).
The AHCA was the Republican response to Obamacare. It kept much of Obamacare, it was a plan that ideally both Republicans and Democrats could agree on. But what it shaped up to be was the biggest failure that the Republicans have made since taking Congress and now the presidency. This was Paul Ryan’s, and by extension Donald Trump’s, chance to show America that a Republican government is a functional government. The Republican party had eight years to draft a viable replacement, but the one that was voted on, or not voted on, seemed like it was a last minute bill scraped together by the speaker himself.
When the vote on the bill was canceled because it didn’t have enough votes, immediately the Republican news network, sorry I meant Fox News, sprang in to action to do PR damage control. Most boldly and least surprisingly, Sean Hannity was a vocal supporter of the Republican effort, and a defender of the president when it failed.
Let me be very clear here, this is not President Trump’s failure. The president went above and beyond, and did everything in his power.
-Sean Hannity March 24th, 2017
He seemed to paint it as only the fault of Speaker Ryan, when in reality it was both the fault of the speaker and the president. A major job of the president is as a legislator, and he seems to have no clue whatsoever as to how to whip votes, if only Frank Underwood were here to help him.
So, to garner votes and win over the support of the freedom caucus, Donald Trump does what he knows how to do, Tweet and gain negative press as a result. So, in order to get the Freedom Caucus on his side and win over the major holdout group over this bill, he takes to Twitter.
To the nation’s surprise that plea for support did not help anyone whatsoever, and now we are all as a country back at square one on the health care issue.
Donald Trump needs to learn how to be a politician. It is not in vogue to be an anti-establishment president when you can’t get the establishment to do what you want. Failure to pass health care legislation will result in the Republican’s loss of control of Congress in 2018 and possibly even the presidency in 2020.
Make no mistake. This is much more than a health care bill, this is much more than legislation. This is a test of the Republican party and it’s ability to make good on the promises it made to millions of hard-working Americans. In that regard, the Republicans failed. The fish rots from the head, and this fish is rotting… a lot.
(Mind the humor)
As I said earlier, there is a reasonable threat to the control of the Congress by the Republican Party if they cannot get health care legislation that appeals to moderates, conservatives, and swing votes. If Hillary Clinton is running against President Trump in 2020 she will have not only his record of misconduct in the past to work with, but four years of Donald Trump having been the president. She could bring top the fact that he promised the repeal of Obamacare and the replacement of it as soon as on his first day in office, and that when the Republicans in the House did draft a bill and almost held a vote on it, the vote completely failed and the promise that the Republicans made to their voter base was shattered just like that.