Saturday, March 25, 2017

No Deal

Well, the Trump health care bill is kaput.  Trump tried to ram through Congress a health care bill that would have destroyed the Affordable Care Act (ACA), done serious damage to Medicaid, kicked 24 million people off their health insurance plans, and given tax breaks to the rich.  He set out to negotiate a deal, and he was left with nothing.  And without those tax breaks,  Trump's infrastructure-spending plans and Paul Ryan's tax reform plan are all but dead in the water.  The costs in this bill were too great even for many House Republicans, and even my own congressman, Representative Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-NJ) - chairman of the House Appropriations Committee - wouldn't support it.  The party's conservative wing didn't like the health care bill because it didn't go go far enough in repealing and replacing the ACA (imagine!).  So, after nine weeks, the S.S. Trump Presidency is already aground.
Democrats had best not get too cocky, though, because last time I checked, the Republicans still control the White House and both houses of Congress, Neil Gorsuch is headed for the Supreme Court, and not only has the Dakota Access Pipeline been resumed, the Keystone XL pipeline has been approved as well.  Among other Obama-policy reversals.  Let me make this clear: The people brought down the Trump health care bill.  Congressional Democrats didn't sabotage the Republicans; the Republicans sabotaged themselves.  The Democrats did nothing.  Nothing.  The Democrats still have a lot of work and catching up to do if they want to get back in power (great laughter at that, I'm sure) and avoid going full Whig.  If the Democrats, who are more unpopular than Trump these days, want to be taken seriously, they have to show leadership.
Just standing there and gloating is not a show of leadership.    

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