Well, alrighty then, the House GOP passed the American Healthcare Act, which is still government healthcare, just in a lesser form.
I thought it rather preliminary to have some sort of happy dance at the White House by the House GOP along with President Trump. I still remember my hometown Atlanta Falcons leading the New England Patriots 28-3 almost midway through the third quarter. The Falcons had recovered an onside kick of the Patriots at the New England 40-yard line, but failed to score. Yep, my relatives were already celebrating, but there was a very distinct caution sign. And that sign ended up being rather warranted as the Falcons played not to lose, and were no longer aggressive. And we all know what happened, Tom Brady and the Patriots took it to overtime, scored a touchdown, and won their fifth Super Bowl.
Now is hardly the time for the House GOP to cheer, but then again, they’re off for another weeklong recess.
The American Healthcare Act passed by a very narrow margin, 217-213. And don’t forget the House is short some four members, those who’ve departed for the Trump administration.
But the real concern is that President Donald Trump and the House Republicans now own the issue of healthcare. And the liberal progressive media no longer remembers anything called Obamacare. That venerable den of progressive socialist acolytes who guarded the Unaffordable Care Act with barrels of ink will now use those barrels to disparage every turn of the GOP efforts to improve our healthcare system.
The point that’s lost on many is that Obamacare’s implosion — and yes, it has and continues to fail — was planned for just this time, 2017. The scheme was set up as a fait accompli for a very devious, but brilliant, purpose. If you recall, the House Democrats weren’t upset about today’s vote, where not a single Democrat voted in support, and 20 Republicans voted likewise. Rather they jeered at the House Republicans chanting to the effect, YOU own this.
The Democrats set up Obamacare to meet their ultimate objectives. One was based on a Republican presidential victory. It would mean the GOP would own this law, knowing their media allies wouldn’t just allow the Republicans to do nothing, and the Republicans had campaigned on doing something. That meant the albatross was around the neck of the GOP and there was never any responsibility placed on the Democrats, thanks to the liberal progressive media.
And the Democrats seemed to know that with the aid of their media accomplices, the Republicans would NEVER actually repeal every aspect of Obamacare and start from zero. Now the strategy of the Democrats is to do everything possible to ensure that the insurance premiums of Americans actually continue to increase. The liberal media, with the Democrats, will trot out every hard case to evidence that the Republicans will as the House Dems stated, “Make America Sick Again.”
What really sunk Hillary Clinton, the true October 2016 surprise, was the increased insurance premium notices Americans received…and Mrs. Clinton had no plan, other than to preserve Obamacare. The GOP had a sweep, but right now, they don’t have a solid plan. This week Senate Republican from Tennessee Bob Corker said the House GOP healthcare bill was “dead on arrival.” So, where are we actually? Funny thing, the Senate Republicans were all onboard with the debacle called an Omnibus spending bill, which had 178 House Democrats supporting, and only 130 House Republicans.
Remember it took Obama, Reid, and Pelosi nearly 18 months to give us Obamacare. The Democrats are betting on the GOP not being able to repair the mess they created in Obamacare. And if that happens, the leftist progressives believe they can win majorities in the House and Senate in the 2018 midterm elections. The Democrats are banking on a 2010 moment for them, as happened for the Republicans. And these Congressional special elections could serve as a bellwether, starting with the election in Georgia 6th congressional district.
Now, what was the other possibility for the Democrats? Well, if Hillary Clinton had indeed won the 2016 presidential election, the intent was to claim Obamacare as a failure, and move towards a single payer system. And please, spare me the “GOP would have control over the House and Senate line.” The GOP has control over the House, Senate, and White House right now, and they passed an Omnibus spending measure that supported the liberal progressive agenda…of course that is hailed as “bipartisan compromising”. You never hear that being demanded of Democrats when they’re in the majority.
So where do we go now? We have to see what Senate Republicans do, and sadly, I don’t know if they possess any sense of urgency. We still have a plethora of Obamacare regulations that MUST be rescinded by the Health and Human Services Department. We don’t have any qualitative measures such as tort reform, increased competition, or pooling of small businesses that will assist in driving down the healthcare costs.
And the whole “pre-existing conditions” coverage is somewhat nebulous. Ask yourself, how many Americans can explain the GOP American Healthcare Act in less than three minutes? As a matter of fact, how many House GOP members can explain it in less than three minutes? And that has always been a GOP issue: messaging. And if the GOP, to include President Trump, cannot effectively message the AHCA, the media will pummel them. As well, if the Senate GOP decides to scrap the House bill, then what do the House GOP members message, as they head home?
Again, the little dance in the end zone this afternoon was uncalled for, preliminary, and does not reflect a conscious understanding of the reality of the situation. The real celebration is best saved for the 2018 midterm elections, the real test of whether the American people believe that Republican Party can effectively govern.
What do I assess? Simple, there doesn’t appear to have been any coordination between the House and Senate GOP and therefore the Senate will create their own version. And since, per the Constitution, all revenue generating matters must originate in the House…any Senate amendment of the AHCA means it will have to return to the House for final approval. After all, this is under the procedure of Budget Reconciliation.
For your reading pleasure, Roll Call listed every one of the House GOP members who voted “Nay” on the AHCA…and the analysis as to why.
“Twenty Republicans bucked their party and voted against the health care overhaul on Thursday.
More than half of the members who voted “no” are part of the Tuesday Group, a collection of moderate House Republicans. Nine of the lawmakers represent districts that Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton carried in November. President Donald Trump carried the districts of 11 of the members voting “no.” But all of the lawmakers outperformed Trump last fall. Fourteen of the “no” votes are Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee targets. Five of the lawmakers are also part of the National Republican Campaign Committee’s Patriot Program, which assists members in tough races.”
It seems about 10 percent of the House GOP didn’t think the AHCA was a politically viable policy…we shall see if they were right next November 2018.
[Learn more about Allen West’s vision for this nation in his book Guardian of the Republic: An American Ronin’s Journey to Faith, Family and Freedom]