The Republicans have pulled their American Health Care Act bill from consideration and are moving on. So … who are the winners and losers?
Gotta say, one big winner is me. I’m sooooo tired of hearing about health care. I wasn’t looking forward to the fight in the Senate. I’m overjoyed that we’re done with that issue and moved on. Healthcare was about number 10 on my list of important things to get done. If it doesn’t happen until next year I’m perfectly fine with that.
Next big winner? Supreme Court Nominee Neal Gorsuch. Now, the Senate will not be totally consumed with a health-care fight. They can move directly to his up-or-down vote.
Who is next on the winners list? In the short run, Ex-President Obama. His namesake legislation is untouched. However, it is tottering. So in the long run, depending on how bad Obamacare gets, he may be a loser. This way, Obamacare is still in place and it is all still on his shoulders, for better or worse.
The Senate won in general. The fight over this bill would not have been pretty on either side. Lots of bitterness avoided.
The final winner was President Trump. Despite the loss, he got praise from both the conservative and moderate wings of the party for putting his shoulder to the wheel and giving it his all. Everyone knows it’s not a dictatorship, he doesn’t get to tell the House of Representatives how to vote. Sure, he’d have loved to win, but now he gets to forget about health care entirely and talk tax reform.
Guess which one a businessman would rather talk about?
Losers? Paul Ryan and the House Republican leadership. They put the bill together in secret. It was clear they were in deep trouble when Congressman Rand Paul was walking around the basement of the Capitol with the media in tow, to the door of the secret room, where the other Republicans said he couldn’t come in to see the bill. Very effective theater, to be sure, but it highlighted a very real problem.
However, given the blowback I suspect that will be the very last time Speaker Ryan makes that mistake … he was already talking today about wanting everyone to be involved in the writing of the tax reform proposal.
Finally, the American people both won and lost. Today’s polls showed that only 14% of the public supported the Republican plan. I certainly was not among the supporters. To me, it was poorly thought out and poorly written, obviously done in a hasty manner. So we won by not having this bill pass … but we lost because we’re still under Obamacare. Thirty percent of the counties in the US only have one insurance company. Premiums and deductibles have been climbing steadily. Not pretty.
My only comment on all of this is that the inability to pass this legislation is nowhere near as important as the politicians and the media would like us to think. People keep yammering on about how the Administration is “wounded” and the like … nonsense. Trump knows that not every deal gets to yes, and you simply move on to the next deal. The breathless analysis by both the right and the left is way overblown. Both sides of the media have exaggerated the importance of this. Yes, it’s a loss, and it looks big because it is the first loss, but it’s a four-year term. I just wish all the media would get a grip, and dial down the level of the rhetoric.
Onwards to the next political madness,