Trump Threatens To Repeal ACA Without Replacement
After losing another legislative battle in the Senate, Donald Trump threatens to 'let Obamacare fail.' En lieu of preserving his campaign promise to "repeal and replace" the popular Affordable Care Act, Trump is opting to merely repeal the mega universal healthcare law. After the list of Republican defections from the flawed Trumpcare repeal bill grew, Trump announced his desire to simply repeal the ACA without replacing it.
"I've been saying that a long time. Let Obamacare fail. It'll be a lot easier. And I think we're probably in that position, where we'll just 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. We'll let Obamacare fail, and then the Democrats are going to come to us, and they're going to say, 'How do we fix it, how do we fix it?' Or 'How do we come up with a new plan?'"
Threatening to let the ACA fail to prove a point is dangerous. Shamefully, as the standard bearer of the Republican Party, no one is speaking out against this rhetoric.
Trump's refusal to accept culpability for his own failures was on full display Tuesday afternoon. "We're not going to own it. I'm not going to own it." Besides being selfish, the statement is without merit considering the practical reality for Trump. He is a Republican president serving as his Republican Party controls both houses of Congress. That means he and his party own and are responsible for every positive and negative result of their action and inaction. Trump's party alone has the power to repeal and replace the ACA.
Americans should be horrified that the person occupying the White House is playing politics with healthcare. Trump promised dealmaking expertise for 18 months during the campaign. Thus far, he's been unable to showcase this alleged dealmaking ability. In fact, Trump has been unable to demonstrate an ability to whip votes within his own party. Expecting him to reach across the aisle to Democrats is unrealistic at this point.
Asserting 'I'm not going to own it' is selfish and cowardly. Trump has yet to fully grasp that the White House is greater than him. It's not about him "owning" anything - it's about him facilitating a brighter future for the country. Whether he agrees with the results or not, he owns it. Trump believes he is entitled to credit for market upswings, but does not believe he should be scorned for poor decision making or demonstrations of governmental incompetence.
The most important aspect of the ACA that is often ignored in these discussions is the overall impact the law has had on the country. Since the laws passage, the ACA has provided health insurance to 30 million people who were previously uninsured. Apart from the economic disaster, repealing a law that has had a direct positive affect on that many people would create a health crisis. Repeating catchy political phrases like, 'repeal and replace' is one matter. But proactively stripping health coverage for tens of millions of people in order to score political points is evil.
When asked whether or not he is angry with Republican senators for bailing on the bill, Trump claimed that he was 'disappointed.' This question was likely influenced by Trump's admission over the weekend that a failed repeal would anger him. Trump seemed to take a softer tone expressing his disappointment on Tuesday, stating:
"For seven years I've been hearing 'repeal and replace' from Congress. I've been hearing it loud and strong. And then we finally get a chance to repeal and replace, they don't take advantage of it. So that's disappointing."
Despite repeated guarantees of 'so much winning it will make [our] heads spin,' Trump has not managed to sign a single major piece of legislation his entire time in office. He's set a record for number of executive orders signed. But major legislative victories are non-existent for Trump. For the sake of health coverage in the U.S. one can only hope he remains winless on the repeal effort.
*Thumbnail image credit: Associated Press/Pablo Martinez Monsivais