When I heard that President Trump and Paul Ryan had given House Republicans an ultimatum, I honestly have to say I was not surprised. I didn’t realize this was strictly a binary choice - that there were only two options.
What happened to the free market?
Paul Ryan Tweeted: “We ran on repeal and replace in 2010, 2012, 2014, and in 2016. Now we are keeping our word to the people who elected us.”
I might remind the Speaker none of the previous repeal bills had Obamacare Lite attached. They did not run on this. Trump, through his aides, in a closed-door meeting, delivered an ultimatum: Vote to approve the measure to overhaul the nation’s health-care system on the House floor Friday, or reject it, and the president will move on to his other legislative priorities.
What does this mean? Will he veto or try to torpedo any subsequent bill? Congress is in charge of legislation. A president can be a cheerleader or boo and hiss from the sideline, but can only sign or veto a bill.
Let’s step back a bit and look at what is facing us.
Let’s make the comparison in relation to pure socialism/communism and a strict constitutional version of healthcare law. Let’s say a pure single payer government sponsored healthcare system is 10 on the scale and the pure constitutional/free market version is a 1. For the sake of argument, let's assume what we had before Obamacare was a 5. Let’s also assume Obamacare is an 8 on that scale. Depending on who you talk to, the republican’s bill is a 7.5 or an 8.5.
When Nancy Pelosi said “We have to pass the bill to see what’s in it…”, Conservatives lost their minds.
Consider this: Republican Chris Collins said on MSNBC, “In my district, right now, there’s a lot of misunderstanding as to what it is we’re doing. And once we get it done, and then we can have the chance to really explain it.” Really? He continued, “At this point in time, it’s a vote to support our president and all of our signature issues, or frankly it’s a vote for Nancy Pelosi and maintaining Obamacare, which is failing.”
Again, I had no idea this was our only option, Obamacare or Trump/RyanCare.
I have spoken in the past of the “Overton Window.” This window of opportunities or possibilities is used and considered in union negotiations and in politics, as well. Looking at a union-management negotiation is a simple comparison. Employees are being paid $10 an hour, and they want to get it raised to $12. They don’t ask for $12, they ask or demand $15. The compromise is then an acceptable one.
Negotiation in politics is very similar. Understand the window can and does move, see the illustration. What is acceptable changes with the times, as does the starting point. Looking at the illustration, before Obamacare, we were in the middle of the sliding scale. Progressives wanted full blown single payer socialized healthcare, but knew they could not do it in one fell swoop. They pushed it as far as they could, landing in the L2 to L3 area.
Can someone explain to me why our only option is to stay as close to the center of the window as possible? A simple repeal and NO replacement would get us back to the middle, and we should be pushing to allow better and more free market access than we had then. I wrote yesterday about how this process had been mucked up by Republicans. I suggested they would try and steal defeat from the jaws of victory.
As I look at social media, the call for repeal is overwhelming; there is essentially no support for this bill. A suggestion that a failure to support this bill will lead to a defeat in the next election is about 180 degrees out of phase with reality.
At this point in time, the bill has been pulled. However, look for Republicans to use the no vote against conservatives next election in an effort to get rid of true constitutional conservatives and fill the “swamp” with more creatures of their ilk.
I appreciate much of what President Trump has done, but this fiasco will be his demise if he persists in this “I get my way or will take my marbles and go home” attitude.
Obamacare is a “crap sandwich.”
The Republican's proposed bill is Obamacare with a corner cut off. A crap sandwich with the corner cut off is still a crap sandwich. There's not enough ketchup in the world to make it palatable. Republicans need to wise up. It's time for a fresh sandwich, and repeal would be a great first layer.