The most risible and illogical rationale is Trump's own, which blames the Democrats for standing solidly against the Republican attempt to obliterate, like it or not, one of the most significant pieces of legislation of the Obama administration.
Now, the morning after, it's worth considering what could still be done to improve America's rickety system of health care for those who can't afford it. But with Trump in charge—a man of little vision except his financial and personal aggrandizement—the prospects do not look good.
|Tiny fingers do the talking.|
"Nobody knew health care could be so complicated," Trump exclaimed a month ago, with a mixture of surprise and exasperation.
If he had given the issue even cursory attention—which of course would have involved considerable reading, not one Trump's favorite pastimes—he would have learned about Hillary Clinton's failed stab at health care reform, and the endless months of negotiations to get Obamacare enacted.
|Fifo sez: Obamawhat?|
Obamacare is a DISS-ASS-TER, Trump kept saying, while holding the little index finger and little thumb of his smallish right hand in a circle for added emphasis. Polls showed Obamacare to be unpopular and Trump figured that knocking it was a political no-brainer.
During the final and frantic negotiations over the fate of the Republican health care bill, Trump reportedly told members of the ultra-orthodox House Freedom Caucus, "[f]orget the little shit and let's focus on the big picture here."
Not surprisingly, the recalcitrant conservative House members took umbrage at the president dismissing their concerns as "little shit" in favor the "big picture," i.e. scoring a big win for Trump by approving what had become a centerpiece of his litany of hot-air promises.
As if to underline the Trump's message, Stephen Bannon essentially told House Freedom Caucus members to put up and shut up: "Guys, look. This is not a discussion. This is not a debate. You have no choice but to vote for this bill."
In the end, of course, Trump's "little shit" congealed into a big, steaming loaf of the stuff, leaving him and the Republicans looking like it too.
The heart of the Republican plan to reform Obamacare was to reverse billions in taxes imposed on high-income folks in order to fund the program, while leaving America's health care coverage for the uninsured that much more tattered. That proposal seems to be dead for now.
Still, dreamers can dream that after the Obamacare fiasco, a bipartisan team could come together to try to fix the program's many admitted shortcomings rather that destroy it--even though in Washington's poisoned partisan atmosphere that is a long shot indeed.
More likely is that Trump, unable to admit defeat, will instead try to further weaken Obamacare through funding cuts and other forms of sabotage and then claim "I told you so" if it fails.
Sadly, scenario number two is more likely. After all, this is all about Trump and his outsized ego, not what's best for the vulnerable uninsured population in the U.S.
Late-breaking news: I finished this posting on Sunday afternoon and it ended on a down note, i.e. there was no likely way Democrats and Republicans would come together to find some common ground on health care.
|Time to stop laughing, Barry.|
Also in the Times there's a piece about The Weekly Standard, a publication trying to set itself as a conservative voice using "facts, logic and reason." Breitbart News and Alex Jones, and a good part of the Fox News team need not apply.