Donald Trump fans and foes alike heard it every day of the presidential election campaign: as part of his stump speech, Trump promised again and again to “repeal and replace” Obamacare, with a more free market oriented system.
This promise was inevitably greeted with enthusiastic cheers and applause from the massive crowds. Clearly, this was a pledge that Trump would have to deliver on once elected if he wanted to satisfy his supporters.
However, the sheer practical challenges behind dismantling Obamacare are very daunting. It won’t happen overnight. And now, even though the Republicans have a Congressional majority, some of them are waffling over how far they are prepared to help Trump live up to that vow.
Bloomberg Politics reports:
Some Republicans in Congress are starting to talk more about trying to “repair” Obamacare, rather than simply calling for “repeal and replace.” (…)
The repair language was discussed by Republicans during their closed-door policy retreat in Philadelphia last week as a better way to brand their strategy. Some of that discussion flowed from views that Republicans may not be headed toward a total replacement, said one conservative House lawmaker who didn’t want to be identified.
Indeed, a pattern has developed, with more establishment Republicans, such as Lamar Alexander, Pete Sessions and Susan Collins, starting to use the word “repair” as if on queue. Most noticeably, House Speaker Paul Ryan did too, and was confronted about it on Fox & Friends. He replied that any confusion about terminology was simply a “miscommunication”:
“So what kind of got going on here is, I’ve got a confluence of words. To repair the American health-care system, you have to repeal and replace this law, and that’s what we’re doing.”
Many conservative Americans don’t trust Ryan to enact Trump’s policies. He is considered too much of a Beltway careerist to want to risk siding 100 per cent with the president in case that backfires on him.
Again and again, Ryan has proven himself to be less principled than he is pragmatic, willing to play certain roles in order to further himself.
While President Trump has accomplished a great deal already, working out trade deals and other domestic economic problems has so far been a priority rather than tackling Obamacare. Now we have to wait and see how many other Republicans will lose their nerve when the time comes. Americans will have to be prepared to remind their representatives that they want the program scrapped, or else.
Source: Bloomberg Politics