After two months in office, Donald Trump appeared to be giving up on his vow to supporters to repeal and replace Obamacare with his Thursday night ultimatum. Congress, he said, was to pass the Republican version of health care aka Trumpcare, or he was going to move on to the next item on his to-do list.
Never mind that many feel that this process is eerily reminiscent of eight years ago when Obamacare was jammed down the throats of unwilling Americans, and Nancy Pelosi infamously said the bill had to be passed before we could know what was in it. Conservatives were livid. They marched on D.C. to protest. They showed up at town halls to express their displeasure.
It did no good. Democrats passed Obamacare because they were in control and outvoted the dissenting Republicans. That was in December 2009, eleven months after Obama took office as president. It was a stunning rebuke of the opposite party and an obviously unhappy electorate. At mid-term Democrats paid a huge price.
Fast forward to today — Friday, March 24, 2017. Perhaps it’s fitting that today is cold with rain and sleet in the nation’s capital because the reality was an ultimatum had been issued from the White House. It was now or never on health care. That could work either way: jump on board, or dig in heels against the bill. With a vote scheduled for this afternoon, the morning hours were spent whipping up additional votes to try and pass the legislation that has been deemed ObamacareLite by those familiar with the bill.
Keep in mind Donald Trump has been in office two months. Let me repeat that … two months. Today Republicans, after a whirlwind of activity reworking health care in order to check off that box of issues that were promised to supporters. They will take to the floor for a vote after Thursday night’s scheduled vote was postponed when it was obvious Republicans did not have enough members on board.
At this point the bill, which the CBO reported could cause 24 million to lose their health care, will need to be passed before we — American citizens — can know what’s in it. There has been cajoling, arm twisting, and last-minute deals that we will not know until after the vote. Déjà vu.
“If the measure fails, it would be a defeat for Trump in his first effort to help pass major legislation and it may also jeopardize other items on his wish list, including a tax overhaul and infrastructure spending,” noted the Washington Post.
If Trumpcare doesn’t pass, the president, in his usual blame-someone-else mode, has already threatened the holdouts that they will lose their reelections. From a man who was a Democrat until he decided to run as a Republican, that kind of talk would certainly be music to the ears of Nancy Pelosi and her party.
If the GOP wins today’s vote, will they really win? Some who are still in the “no” column may take to heart the old saying: When in doubt, don’t. If the vote actually goes to the floor, we will know by this evening the results of today’s activities.
Update #1: Paul Ryan went to the White House at mid-day to notify Trump there were not enough votes to pass Trumpcare.
Update #2: A vote on Trumpcare is set for 3:30 Friday afternoon.
Update #3: At 3:37 the bill was pulled and vote cancelled.