What Trump’s ultimatum to House Republicans means for our healthcare policy

This article was originally published here

Here’s the pattern we have seen so far from the Trump administration.

Campaign promise: Muslim ban.

Execution: President Trump checked that box with a hurried executive order followed by massive protests and judicial blocking. That was followed by a revised order that was again challenged and is on appeal. The modus operandi shows that national security was an afterthought but delivering on a campaign promise first on agenda.

Result: Failure to tackle national security

Campaign promise: Repeal Obamcare

Execution: President Trump checked that box with a hurried plan created with House Speaker Paul Ryan that attempts to square the circle of what GOP-ers want, satisfying neither side and panned by the CBO. When House members could not get the votes to pass the repeal bill, they cancel the vote Thursday.

Result: Failure to tackle a real problem of healthcare policy and tweak Obamacare to get it right

What followed the cancellation vote is even more interesting. Trump’s White House issued an ultimatum to the House GOP: Vote Friday or lose the chance once and for all to repeal Obamacare.


It shows that Trump has little interest in a nuanced and thorough discussion of what ails the current law, and brinkmanship is going to determine what passes the House.

More interestingly (or alarmingly) it also shows that with this abrupt ultimatum, Trump is governed by a desire to win merely to check off an item from his agenda, no matter how important that item is to the national fabric and well-being.

It also shows that he is entirely happy to have Obamacare be the law of the land and that unlike the party that he is avowedly the leader of, he has no real skin in the game. Nor understanding of healthcare – remember “Nobody knew that healthcare could be so complicated.

It appears that our president is more driven by concluding the deal, than what’s in it. That philosophy is OK in the business world where the end goal is slapping on a name to a building, but probably not enough when lives are at stake.

Photo: Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images

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