Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Trump Tries To Distance Himself From Health Plan Failure

(This caricature of a whining Donald Trump is by DonkeyHotey.)

We were let down by all of the Democrats and a few Republicans.

I think we're probably in that position where we'll let Obamacare fail. We're not going to own it. I'm not going to own it. I can tell you, the Republicans are not going to own it.

Those of the words of Donald Trump as he whines to the media after the failure of Senate Republicans to repeal and replace Obamacare.

He wants to blame Democrats for the GOP's failure (and his own, since he did very little to get the plan approved). But the truth is that the Democrats were never a part of this repeal plan. They were excluded by the Republicans in the writing of this bad bill, and in plans to get it passed without any hearings or public debate.

The Republicans have said they want to repeal and replace Obamacare for seven years now -- and the GOP's Congress has voted over 50 times to repeal. But that was while Obama was president, and they knew he would veto their futile efforts. It was easy to pass a plan that they knew would not go into effect.

And Trump campaigned on repealing Obamacare -- promising to replace it with a plan that covered everyone and had cheaper premiums. And he told Americans that would be done on "day one". That was also easy to do before being elected.

But things are different now. The Republicans now control both houses of Congress and the presidency. They can do whatever they want, and there's little the Democrats could do to stop them. They could have done one of two things: 1) come up with a better plan than Obamacare, or 2) fix the flaws in Obamacare. They chose to do neither. The best they could do was devise a plan that would raise premium costs and throw 22 million people off the insurance rolls. And they couldn't even agree on that.

Trump says he and the Republicans won't own whatever happens now. He's wrong about that. If Trump and the Republicans "let Obamacare fail" by refusing to adequately fund it, the public will know who to blame for that -- the Republicans and their president. And if they fund Obamacare but don't fix its flaws, the public will know who to blame for that -- the Republicans and their president.

Trump may not like it, but the party in power (especially one controlling Congress and the White House) always gets the blame for what is done (or not done). That's the way politics works in a representative democracy. Trump can deny responsibility all he wants, but as Truman told us, the buck always stops at the desk of the president.

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