Paul Ryan, Donald Trump and House Republican Leadership: Losers
Though Ryan and Trump each tried in his own way to place responsibility for the bill on the other, it was a group project and they failed badly, not only from a policy standpoint, but also politically. The roll out of the bill rivaled the roll out of Trump’s first executive order on immigration in its ineptitude. Phases 2 and 3 seemed to have been hastily drawn up to try to stem the flow of criticism, regardless of whether or not that was the case.
House Republican leaders went along for the ride; Cathy McMorris Rodgers pimped it like a boss. They get extra demerits because instead of spending the last seven years educating the public about the benefits of free market reforms, they engaged in Repeal Theater, building expectations that we’ve now been told were impossibly unrealistic. I’m honestly left with the feeling that they never thought they would be in a position to actually repeal ACA, and were left in a panic when Trump won. If they had any shame, they would all resign, except Paul Ryan, but only because I’ve heard that no one else will take the Speaker’s job.
Planned Parenthood: Winners
The one incontrovertibly good thing the bill did was to defund Planned Parenthood and, unfortunately, that means that the one incontrovertibly bad thing about the bill’s demise is that Planned Parenthood’s funding remains in place.
Congressional Democrats: Winners
Yes, they were winners, but it’s disgusting the way some of them have taken credit where none is due. Congressional Democrats were powerless to stop the bill from advancing had all Republicans been on board. Which brings me to the big winners….
House Freedom Caucus: Winners
These guys aren’t just winners; they’re heroes. They stood in support of the thousands of campaign promises made to repeal the Affordable Care Act. They fought the battle and emerged as the true victors, despite any gloating from helpless Congressional Democrats.
American People: Draw
The American people are winners in the sense that ACA-Lite is dead and we and can look forward to full repeal and replacement with free market solutions, but losers in that Obamacare is, as Paul Ryan told us, “…The law of the land…for the foreseeable future.”
If we want to win the war, and not just this battle, now is the time for the people to remind Congressional Republicans who and what gave them control of the House, the Senate and the Presidency.