Saturday, April 29, 2017

Reuters: No vote on healthcare bill this week in U.S. House

Donald Trump knows how to enhance his own bottom line and knows how to work the media to his advantage, but as President of the United States, he doesn’t know what he’s doing.

For example President Trump didn’t know being president was hard work and complicated. He didn’t know that the United States could not negotiate a trade deal with Germany and must deal with the European Union. After meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping, Trump realized the problem with North Korea was not so easy. After accusing China of currency manipulation, Trump learned that China no longer manipulated its currency. And he has realized that backing out of NATO wasn’t such a great idea.

And Trump said, “nobody knew health care could be this complicated.” It’s doubtful he really knows what benefits the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) actually provide.

Moreover, Trump didn’t know of the congressional procedures that forced him to push for health care changes before overhauling the tax code. “Trump has several times referred vaguely to complicated statutory requirements that forced him to prioritize Obamacare repeal. His explanations of this are invariably fuzzy because in fact there is no statutory requirement for him to do health care reform before he works on tax reform.”

Because of his ignorance, Trump is easily swayed by bad information.

The “ ‘health care before tax reform’ idea was simply Paul Ryan’s legislative strategy. Ryan wants to pass a tax reform plan with a party-line vote, which means he needs to use the budget reconciliation process to avoid a Senate filibuster.

“Ryan has his reasons for wanting to do it this way, and those reasons to involve procedural arcana. But nothing is being forced on anyone here. It’s simply a choice he made and then apparently tricked the president into endorsing.

“Trump’s basic worldview, as articulated on the campaign trail, was that all the major dilemmas of American public policy had easy solutions. The reason the problems had not been solved already was that America’s political leaders were too stupid, too corrupt, or too ‘politically correct’ to solve them.”

However, it looks like Trump is the one who is too stupid, too corrupt, and doesn’t understand that it takes a lot of political correctness—on many levels (words, actions, and knowledge of legislative procedure)—to get things done.

That’s why his first 100 days have not been successful. It’s why health care replacement and tax reform legislation as proposed will fail. It’s why “Trump is getting zilch from House Republicans.”

Robert Reich says, “Tonight, [Thursday] Republican House leaders couldn't muster enough votes on their revised bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act. The bill would have allowed states to opt out of the Act's central provisions: requiring coverage for “essential health benefits” such as maternity and preventive care, and barring insurers from charging people with pre-existing medical problems more than others. The revised bill would also cut Medicaid by $880 billion.

“House leaders need 216 votes to pass a bill. They couldn't get them because every House Democrat opposes their legislation, and more than 22 Republicans from districts that could flip to Democrats in 2018 also refused to go along.

“Trump is getting zilch from House Republicans. He couldn’t even get them to include money for his wall in the Republican bill to continue funding government.

“I think House Republicans are watching Trump’s sagging polls, chaotic White House, and blow-hard threats, and deciding they can buck him.”

By Susan Cornwell