In an early test for the Trump administration, the pledge to “repeal and replace Obamacare” was developed into a legislative proposal that was withdrawn before its anticipated defeat in Congress. The full support of the president and a major push by Speaker of the House Paul Ryan came to nothing.
failure also highlighted the lack of competence in a president who
has touted his business acumen and negotiating skills. Despite,
persuasion, pressure, and ultimatums, President Trump could not
generate enough support within his own party to do what the opponents
of Obamacare have been vowing to do since the Affordable Care Act was
first adopted in 2010.
dead-end legislation resulted from factional warfare within the GOP.
Republicans have begun governing by the proverbial circular firing
squad. To draft a new health-care bill, they aimed assault rifles at
each other and began blasting away, with predictable results. As his
fatally wounded plan lay dying, President Trump chose to blame the
a bill to have been approved in Congress, party and faction
compromise would have been necessary, but, despite concessions to
both Republican groupings, the pieces could not be made to fit. No
coalition formed, not even a temporary one.
would have no part of the Republican plan. The GOP centrists or
moderates were too few. The 30 to 40-member hard-right House Freedom
Caucus would not budge from its demands, even with the result of
preserving Obamacare. This group, like all the others, was too small
to pass a bill but large enough to block one. Stalemate meant
political leader once said, “The art of politics consists in
knowing what to do next.” By that measure, the president who loudly
claims to have mastered the art of the deal has clearly not mastered
the art of politics.
Americans deserve and need better than what Obamacare has offered is
hardly in doubt. That President Trump and his business buddies will
provide better is definitely in doubt. In fact, it is becoming
increasingly clear that any Republican-replacement plan will
certainly provide less coverage to fewer people at higher cost—and
with higher corporate profits—despite claims to the contrary from
of the health-care plans and proposals emanating from the
Washington-Wall Street nexus, from ACA/Obamacare to the eventual
Republican plan, suffer from the same fatal flaw. They are all
intended, in the first place, to create exorbitant corporate profits,
and, in the second place, to provide some measure of “good
medicine.” These two goals—money and health—are inevitably in
America places the greater value on the health of business rather
than on the health of people. The latter is simply a byproduct of the
the recent debacle, battles over quality health care are far from
concluded. Before facing voters again, Republicans will have to try
to make good on their promises. Eventually, Republican Healthcare 2.0
will be released to Congress—that is, another bill that takes away
from the poorest, the oldest, the neediest, and gives to the
wealthiest. At this point, though, Republicans are still reeling from
their defeat: no future plans or timelines have been announced.
will need to see through the right-wing fog of rhetoric in order to
go beyond the Republican plan, beyond Obamacare, and towards a
universal health-care program with access for all. Until then,
Obamacare, a flawed system whose insurance costs are still too high
for too many, remains in place.
should be on the public agenda now is a serious discussion about
proposals for national health-care and single-payer plans. This
sentiment was brought forward repeatedly in speeches and interviews
at the annual convention of Students for a National Health Program,
meeting in March in Philadelphia. Matthew Moy, a fellow at the
American Medical Student Association, told the Philadelphia
the gathering, “When you believe that health care is a human right,
the only way to adequately and efficiently provide for everybody is
through a single-payer system, which won’t waste money with a
middleman insurance company telling you where you need to go.”
>> The article above was written by Joe Auciello, and is reprinted from Socialist Action.