After reports indicated that Donald Trump was ready to move on from the repeal and replacement of Obamacare, the president said Tuesday that he was still optimistic about coming up with a plan that would work for everyone.
“I know that we’re all going to make a deal on healthcare,” he said at a bipartisan reception at the White House. “And that’s such an easy one. I think it’s going to happen because we’ve all be promising – Democrat, Republican – we’ve been promising that to the American people.”
The problem there, of course, is that Democrats see healthcare as something that is either A, already dealt with, or B, needs to be improved with more subsidies, more government regulations, and higher taxes. So Republicans are not going to get them on board unless they come up with something to the left of Obamacare. How is that going to work when Trump and Paul Ryan couldn’t even get a consensus vote on a bill to the fiscal right of Obamacare?
Nonetheless, they seem determined to make good on their promise to repeal the Affordable Care Act or to at least to make another go of it. Several Republicans in the House leadership said Tuesday that last week’s failure to pass a bill did not mean they would stop trying.
“We are going to work together and listen together until we get this right. It is just too important,” said Ryan.
House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy concurred. “We promised that we would repeal and replace Obamacare,” he said, “and that’s exactly what we’re going to do.”
Well, we’re in believe-it-when-we-see-it mode after the failure of the American Health Care Act. That fiasco broke through the illusion that Republicans tried to create with the red MAGA hats. This is not a party united in victory. It is splintered six ways to Sunday. The same broad ideological base that made victory possible now makes governing extremely difficult.
To make this work, everyone is going to have to give a little. To do that, the party is going to also have to find something to stand for…and against. The Republican “philosophy” of government is…is…well, what IS the Republican philosophy of government these days? If it’s just, “oppose everything the Democrats come up with,” that’s probably not going to be enough. Not when you’re in control.