‘Repeal Obamacare! Repeal Obamacare! Repeal Obamacare! Repeal Obamacare! Repea… oh, never mind…’

pulled it

One thing was for sure — fer danged sure — once Republicans were in charge, Obamacare was going to be toast, immediately if not sooner.

That’s before the GOP became the dog that caught the car.

So now it’s… um, never mind…

GOP health-care bill: House Republican leaders abruptly pull their rewrite of the nation’s health-care law

House Republican leaders abruptly pulled a rewrite of the nation’s health-care system from consideration on Friday, a dramatic acknowledgment that they are so far unable to repeal the Affordable Care Act.

“We just pulled it,” President Trump told The Washington Post in a telephone interview.

In a news conference shortly after the decision, House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.) conceded that his party “came up short.”

The decision came a day after Trump delivered an ultimatum to lawmakers — and represented multiple failures for the new president and Ryan.

“I don’t blame Paul,” Trump said, referring to Ryan….

I especially liked this quote from Ryan: “Doing big things is hard.”

Awww… It’s just not like when the frat boys planned slashing Medicaid around the keg, is it? (I know he’s way younger than I am, but it’s like this guy went to college in a whole other universe…)

45 thoughts on “‘Repeal Obamacare! Repeal Obamacare! Repeal Obamacare! Repeal Obamacare! Repea… oh, never mind…’

    1. Sally

      Clearly, the best description of the Republican controlled Congress is the dog that finally caught the car. As David Brooks said, the Republicans have been the Party of No for so long, they no longer know how to govern. Plus, they have a crazy president and rebellious internal caucuses.Well, as the old saying goes, you break it, you own it.

  1. Lynn Teague

    And so Mr. Ryan discovers that most Americans don’t sit around at keggers imagining themselves in some Ayn Rand story. They go off to their jobs dreaming of insurance that would pay to find out if that persistent sore throat they’ve had for a month or so is something to worry about.

  2. Bill

    I don’t in the least regret the outcome. But this is what you get when you combine a man who’s not serious about governing with a party in Congress that doesn’t care much for government as a general proposition.

  3. bud

    So much for Mr. “The Art of Deal”s extraordinary negotiation skills. As a Democrat I’d like to be somewhat conciliatory in what is most decidedly a big setback for the evil red empire. So let me just make this recommendation. Let’s muster our inner Brad and come together in some sort of bipartisan manner and come up with a healthcare plan for America that is both affordable and effective. Why not pass some sort of public option bill that gives folks that as a choice. And if that is not suitable private insurance will still exist.

    1. Mark Stewart

      I’d agree with this, Bud, except the problem is that the healthy would get private insurance and the sick would take the government plan.

      I don’t know what we are going to do, but the fact is this is the most complicated issue facing us all. The reality is that the Democrats and the moderate Republicans are going to have to find a way to push through the modifications the ACA needs, just because they are needed. Take the high ground the Republican Party seems unable to occupy.

  4. Scout

    Do you get to blame the other party for your failure when your party has a majority and didn’t even try to reach out to work with the other party?

    I’m so glad we got rid of those people who couldn’t get anything done.

    1. Dave Crockett

      That was a bit…curious…blaming the Democrats when it was their own party members who killed it.

      I’m obviously a neophyte, but I don’t understand how simply pulling the proposal saves the day for the Republicans. If they REALLY believe that a majority of Americans wanted most of the changes they were proposing, why not have a vote and then hold the obstructionist minority in their own party accountable to their electorate? Then go back, draft something that at least a handful of Democrats might warm to, and move on to addressing the shortcomings that may actually be fixable given a bipartisan approach.

      Seems to me that simply withdrawing the bill said “Meh…it wasn’t that good of a proposal anyway…”

      I guess I live in some kind of alternate universe…

      Now let’s see how tax reform fares…

      1. Scout

        If they let it go to a vote, there would be an actual record of how badly they missed it. And then the President couldn’t say “it was close, folks, it was close”. It was about saving as much face as possible under the circumstances.

        1. Juan Caruso

          Scout, your analysis is correct . Those who underestimate Trump’s political acumen are going to be sore-pressed to explain the ACA’s collapse without loads of blame for its designers, its champions, and the party that single-handedly legislated it.

          For those unwary, close-minded individuals, here is another concern necessitated by one of the most lauded heroes of the left:

          Microsoft’s Windows 10 operating system has a keylogger enabled by default. Keyloggers are among the most dangerous types of malware, exposing not only typed passwords, etc. but other privacy information.


  5. Harry Harris

    They tried to pass a one-sided, poorly devised bill that almost nobody supported. They will come back later with some sort of effort, but they likely will not make any effort to fix problems with the ACA – indeed will continue to try to undermine it and keep pushing for an “I told you so” deterioration. Democrats should go public with bills to improve the system, and if they go to Trump with some workable strategies might get some help across the isle.

  6. Karen Pearson

    I remember Sen Graham (among others in the GOP) complaining loudly that they had alternative plans that the Dems refused consider. Where are they?

  7. bud

    This is a great example of how grass roots protests absolutely CAN make a difference. All the pink hat marches did not go in vain. A gazzilion times more of an impact that newspaper editorials. I’m ready to join them.

    1. Harry Harris

      I believe you’ve got something there. There have been a lot of women doing some key work. The work needs to continue and stay positive but unyielding. You can bet the next subject will be a tax cut aimed largely at starving government, but disguised as middle class relief. It was telling to read Mnuchen state that they wouldn’t be benefiting the wealthy, but only the “middle class.” Their middle income crowd stretches pretty far up the scale. What is needed is reversal of the favorable treatment of income that has allowed the wealthy to capture so much of the economic growth since the mid-80’s. In the AHCA amendments used to try to get more “moderate” Republicans to take the bait, the .9 extra medicare tax on high wage earners and some investment income was to be added back. This, however, doesn’t make up for the 6.21 plus 1.45 wage earners pay on every dollar they earn up to 118k. We were promised with every passive income tax cut that the income would be invested and create jobs (trickle down), It hasn’t. It has been used to buy companies rather than start them, It has inflated the stock market often beyond earnings. Some went into government securities, and a lot was squirreled away in overseas tax havens. A good amount has bought politicians and funded “grass roots” political groups – many of them tax-exempt. Your taxes are supporting the political “speech” of the richest folks in the country, because they dark-fund groups like Americans for Prosperity and take a tax deduction. Those groups purport to be educational and not political. What a ruse,
      What citizens need to do is stay both educated and involved.

      1. Doug Ross

        I’m glad I don’t wake up every morning looking to blame a political party for whatever issues exist in this country. The level of cognitive dissonance is frightening. It completely ignores the fact that our healthcare system today is a result of a system designed solely by democrats led by a Democratic president for eight years…

        Democrats are the party of blame, the party of “it’s not fair!”, the party of whiners like Pelosi and Schumer. It’s like a group of little kids who whine about not having the latest iPhone. You LOST the election to a buffoon. You lost control of Congress and most governorships. Look in the freaking mirror for a second and understand that the problem is YOU! You had the chance to mage big changes and you blew it. You implemented a second rate insurance program with a third class website. That’s it for eight years. You lack any leadership or focus.

        1. Lynn Teague

          Doug, please read your post over and then tell us again that you don’t wake up every morning looking to blame a political party, because I’m sensing a little cognitive dissonance in your statement.

          Moving on . . .
          “. . . our healthcare system today is a result of a system designed solely by democrats . . . ” Oh, Doug, this is so not true. The ACA was designed and passed by Democrats but it is only one component in the overall healthcare system and it is far from the largest part.

          As to “leadership and focus,” after yesterday I’d have to say that it is very hard to argue that the current Congressional majority and President are shining beacons of hope for providing our nation with “leadership and focus.” They seem to be experiencing difficulty in that area.

          1. Brad Warthen Post author

            “The ACA was designed and passed by Democrats…”

            I’d take it farther than that. It was passed by Democrats under the influence of the gravitational pull of Republicans.

            If they only had Democrats to contend with and didn’t care about the ways that the GOP would attack it, they may have done the right thing and enacted single-payer.

            Which they should have done, since the GOP was bound and determined to describe the law as something it wasn’t, a “government takeover of healthcare.”

            There was so much timidity in the ACA, it’s ridiculous.

            1. Doug Ross

              So what are Democrats waiting for. Let’s see the single payer bill you all want. Who is leading the party to offer an alternative to Obamacare which is heading toward a death spiral? Wanna bet Democrats can’t come up with any plan that isn’t just more taxes, more monopolistic regulation, more giveaways?

              1. Doug Ross

                For eight years, all we heard from Democrats was “Show us your plan, Repbublicans”. Now that the shoe is on the other foot, the Democrats have become the party of no. It’s a never ending cycle of hypocrisy. No action, no ideas, just whining and blaming others.

                1. Brad Warthen Post author

                  Doug, I’m not sure you’ve been paying attention to what’s happening in Washington. This isn’t about Democrats. This is about the Republicans being so divided. More than anything, it’s about the Freedom Caucus.

                  The Democrats’ position now is to keep what they passed several years back. That’s their position.

                  Don’t go by what I think in judging what the Democrats do. I think they should have gone for single-payer; they think what they did was fine….

                2. Doug Ross

                  “The Democrats’ position now is to keep what they passed several years back. That’s their position”

                  Good. I hope we stick with it. When it crashes and burns as we all knew it would, then Democrats can shoulder all the blame. The whole affordability aspect was never accomplished. My personal employer insurance increased by $600 a year with higher deductibles and copays. Adding a bunch of sick people who can’t (or won’t) put their own healthcare as a priority was bound to drive up the costs for everyone else (i.e. those who actually pay for their healthcare).

        2. bud

          I’m glad I don’t wake up every morning looking to blame a political party for whatever issues exist in this country.

          Democrats are the party of blame, the party of “it’s not fair!”, the party of whiners like Pelosi and Schumer.

          Lynn is on to something. Doug you’re just coming across as a cantankerous old man who gets some sort of kick out of playing the insult game.

    2. Scout

      Do you really think the protests made a difference? I’m not against them. It makes me happy to see that I’m not alone in opposing most of what’s going on. But I really don’t know if that is what affected this outcome. This seems to be a result of the extremely fractured republican party whose wings are so far apart from each other that they can accept anything as a whole. If anything, I wonder if the town halls where constituents spoke out loudly on this issue might have had an impact on some. But I’m not sure how much the marches in the street changed any of their minds. Maybe. I just don’t know.

      1. bud

        This seems to be a result of the extremely fractured republican party …

        That’s the most important element. But the protests probably did make some difference with a few moderate Republicans.

      2. Brad Warthen Post author

        “Do you really think the protests made a difference?”

        No. If you’re talking people acting out in the street, no. That’s a unifying point for Republicans.

        1. Harry Harris

          I can tell you from experience and contact with some of the people involved that the public and adamant show in demonstrations and attendance at town halls helped spur and expand what is ongoing. Republican reps and senators are hearing from constituents (and others) in big numbers. The sheer size of the Women’s marches far exceeding the inauguration crowd and Trump rallies was a big encouragement and spur to an ongoing set of actions and movements.

          1. Brad Warthen Post author

            The pink hat protests bigger than Trump’s inauguration? Fake news! 🙂

            Seriously, I don’t see it that way, but y’all know my prejudice against such things.

            The march with the silly hats struck me about the way it did David Brooks. I meant to write a post about that at the time, but never got around to it.

            The town halls, I think, were more meaningful. Not that I applaud them — I tend to be appalled at any breakdown of civility; I don’t like rowdiness — but in terms of the way elected representatives “think,” I think those were more likely to have an impact.

            1. Harry Harris

              I certainly prefer civility, but sometimes adamant opposition is required to get the stonewallers to start honest dialogue. I hate to see sign-waivers shout someone down, but I find factless, boiler-plate talking points just as annoying. Marching in solidarity is a truly great tradition in the face of legalized power, especially if it’s oppressive. Citizens who can’t buy offices have to use whatever they have. Given the Republican/Trump agenda, I think this tactic and victory on health care could help avoid some real turmoil in the streets this summer.

              1. Brad Warthen Post author

                I don’t find the Trump administration oppressive. I find it excruciatingly stupid, and petty, and insulting and demeaning to a great country.

                It doesn’t call for “resistance” in the streets. It calls for steady, intelligent rebuttal and refutation….

                1. Harry Harris

                  I didn’t refer specifically to the Trump administration, but was thinking more of the Republican-controlled Congress and many state legislatures. Trump has mainly attempted to be oppressive (travel ban, attacking judges, attacking press) in my view – without much success in either the courts or so far with legislation.
                  “Oppressive,'” of course, depends on one’s point of view. I doubt that you would consider the Republicans now in power oppressive. It looks different to someone living off eight to 12 dollars per hour facing attempts to:
                  add restrictions and cuts to food assistance
                  kill the Medicaid expansion
                  diminish subsidies for private health insurance
                  kill the employer mandate on health insurance
                  cut public transportation funds
                  cut housing subsidies
                  eliminate community service block grants (LIHEAP, etc)
                  make you wait 2 more years to get off that roof or production line or garbage truck (Soc Sec age)
                  make you wait 2 more years to get Medicare
                  spend federal or state money on schools your kids won’t attend instead of helping the ones they’re in
                  allow transfer of large estates without taxes
                  blame non-existent voter fraud to allow:
                  requiring additional ID to vote
                  restrict voting hours and early voting days
                  cut down the number of voting locations
                  gerrymander districts to advantage your party
                  allow extremely wealthy people to spend outlandishly on elections and often take tax deductions through dark-money groups

                  That probably seems oppressive to those who’d be disadvantaged by such a wish-list, but not to those of us who have been so successful with steady, intelligent rebuttal in this age of reasoned politics – and who have the lifespan to see it through.

  8. Karen Pearson

    I, too, would prefer calm, reasoned debate/discussion. But Trump and many of his supporters pay no heed to reason. They yell louder, and repeat lies faster than most people can handle.

  9. bud

    The circular firing squad over Trump care by the evil red empire on the morning talk shows is hilarious. Probably won’t last. If nothing else they have an incredible drive to do great harm to the American people. And they can’t do that as long as they’re divided.

  10. Mark Stewart

    Here’s the deal: We are back to the time of the Dixiecrats. We don’t have a two party system; we have one party that is splintering and has spawned a narrow-minded and narrowly focused band of rigid maintainers.

    The Freedom Caucus’ inability to function as part of the Republican party means the Republican’s are going to be forced to look for votes among moderate Democrats. Therefore, any changes to the ACA will be those desired by the moderate Democrats. If the bulk of the Republicans want to be able to say that they passed legislation altering the ACA, this is really the only path open to them.

    So what tweaks (and maybe big ones) to the ACA can be made that will garner the support of +/- 30 reasonable Democrats? It’s a bitter pill, but maybe one the Republicans might want to reflect on when they continue to gerrymander the voting precincts to empower the wackos. Actions have consequences.

    1. Doug Ross

      What are Democrats willing to give up when it comes to healthcare? Can you think of one thing that they will come to the table with that would be a compromise?

      1. Mark Stewart

        The ACA clearly needs some tweaks. So make those proposals. Improve the Act. That’s really what Congress is supposed to do; not simply engage in own-party grandstanding.

      2. Harry Harris

        Let me take a stab. Employer mandate: higher numbers of employees kicking in required coverage; Allowing some employers to pay a subsidy and allow employees to buy under the exchanges and qualify for subsidies if eligible. Allow Medicare expansion eligible persons to get subsidies under exchanges if their state didn’t expand. Medical device tax. Freeze no-coverage penalty at 2016 or 2017 level.

        Others to consider: No prenatal care – they hate fetuses. Abolish the death panels. Forbid federal funds paying for abortions since it’s been law since 1976. No maternity benefits for incest cases – government shouldn’t interfere in a family affair. Stop all coverage for Viagra because it encourages dependency.

  11. Bart

    Everyone should step back and take a deep breath. IMHO, once Trump is through playing “POTUS”, he will resign and go to MAR-A-LAGO and play with his toys. He was never in it except to prove he could win by using the strategy he used. Clinton fell for it hook, line, and sinker. She made the biggest mistake of all, assuming she would be the next POTUS and without becoming banal, we all know the true meaning of the word “assume”. In the end, she was the “ass”.

    Trump works a few days a week then flies down to Florida to spend the weekend or in one of his other offices/resorts. This job will soon become boring because in his world, he will have achieved his final goal, POTUS. I don’t believe he is fit enough to last for another 3 years and 9 months, mentally or physically.

    Trump is not a dummy, idiot, or unintelligent and anyone who believes he is will be badly fooled. I made the comment many times well before the election that Trump knew exactly what he was doing and with his message, he could win it all and he did. Trump probably understood very early on that the job was not what he thought it was. Managing several businesses, properties, and other enterprises he either owns or is engaged with is simply not in the same category as being the POTUS with responsibilities that expand so much farther than running a business empire, a reasonable and accurate comparative analogy is almost impossible to come up with.

    The adage that we need a business person with no previous government experience or exposure is not a good basis for selecting the POTUS. If anything, it presents a real and present danger if the person isn’t surrounded with competent advisors from both government and business if he or she is to be reasonably successful. Trump has tried to a degree but no takers who can be impartial and stand up to his private sector behavior and not willing to be exposed to his relentless tweets of ridicule and derision.

    Maybe Trump will grow and become a decent POTUS but at this point, he is not showing signs of doing so. All we can do is hope and pray a lot over the next 3 years and 9 months.

    1. Mark Stewart

      He has been in office 66 days as of yesterday. He has been at one of his properties 21 of those days.

      He is a part-time President at best; his concern remains the Trump Organization.

      1. Bart

        The lame attempt at repealing ACA is evidence of his part-time presidency. If he is or was the business man he claims to be, he would have demanded the new plan be thoroughly vetted, have better inclusions than the original ACA and keep the best parts of the original ACA even if it needed tweaking. He and his supporters actually did a much worse job of trying to roll out their own plan. About the only expression that adequately describes the Ryan effort is, “it sucked” – worse than the original ACA roll out.


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