During Obama’s presidency, Republicans in Congress had voted more than 60 times to repeal Obamacare. They knew that a replacement bill would never get Obama’s signature, but at least they voted to repeal the bill.
Now that we’ve got a Republican White House, a Republican Senate, and a Republican House, you’d think it would be a piece of cake.
Nope. After months and years of a lot of talk from Republican leaders, they finally had their chance to do again what they had already done during Obama’s term. And they blew it.
Now, the President has indicated that if Republicans couldn’t pass the bill this time around, then he would forget about repealing and replacing Obamacare, and just leave the law alone.
Being the paranoid conspiracy theorist tin foil hat-wear that I am, I have to wonder if this was all part of the plan. Most of the votes during Obama’s presidency to repeal Obamacare were merely symbolic. The GOP leadership at the time knew that there was no actual threat that Obamacare would be repealed. So, they could vote to repeal it knowing that it wasn’t going to be repealed, but at least they could tell their constituents and the media that voted to repeal the Affordable Care Act, “fulfilling their promises.”
Now that they’ve got the majority everywhere, the GOP leadership again didn’t actually want to repeal Obamacare. The only way they could “fulfill their promises” and keep Obamacare intact is to draft a terrible piece of legislation that they knew wouldn’t pass. They knew the conservative wing of the party wouldn’t like it.
Now they can tell people, “Look, we tried. The President was very supportive of this legislation, and it had the best chance of getting the broadest support we needed, but it just didn’t pass. I guess we’ll just leave Obamacare the way it is. Oh well! :) ”
As for Donald Trump, I don’t think he really cared which legislation was voted on. I don’t think he would have cared if a version of Rand Paul’s bill had been considered in the House, as long as it would pass.
They had to know that this was not going to pass. There were conservative Senators like Ted Cruz and Rand Paul, and conservative organizations like Heritage Action who all came out against the bill and were raising objection after objection with it, and Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell acted like there was nothing to be concerned about. And Sean Spicer kept saying that it was going to pass.
What other explanation is there other than that some lobbyist(s) is pulling the strings behind the scenes, making sure the leadership keeps the law intact? That’s why the replacement bill – even if it had passed and was signed into law – was okay. It left enough of Obamacare’s provisions in that it basically didn’t change much.
Part of “draining the swamp” means getting people like Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell out of the way. We need people in leadership positions who are not controlled by lobbyists.
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