Another repeal effort unveiled
Republicans, reeling from President Donald Trump’s collaboration with Democrats, threw a bomb into the Senate floor in the form of another repeal and replace bill concerning Obamacare. Led by Lindsay Graham, it is an attempt to restore the GOP’s relevance in Washington. Essentially, the “skinny replacement” rejected in August, it is a bill filled with maybe’s and perhaps. Maybe it keeps the pre-existing condition, perhaps it does not.
Such confusing messages are standard with Republicans. Essentially, it is a mandate to return the program to the states. They manage the grants and set prerequisites. Ironic in that the blue states will do much better than in those red states whose legislators seek to kick their constituents off Medicaid and allow insurance companies to call the shots. But it is dressed up to appear as if it is a compromise package when it is in reality the same bill rejected months ago.
Moreover, it is an attempt to persuade Trump to bow to the Republican leadership in Congress. The right-wing grandees of the Republican party, so wedded to their donors, have decided to sacrifice the commonweal for the extreme haves. Graham, whose contempt for Trump is well known, desires to upset and disrupt any rapprochement the president might have with Charles Schumer and Nancy Pelosi. The base that counts, the right wing antediluvian big boys are worth more than the average citizen.
It is fitting that these conservatives consider devotion to the stockholders as commensurate with principal. Jeff Flake and Ben Sasse support tax cuts for the Koch brothers while leaving the rest behind. Liberty, fairness and consideration is only given to the well-heeled. It is surprising that they have not tried to resurrect the poll tax and property requirements for voting. The GOP is filled with gleamy toothed hustlers that pretend to care about peoples needs. It is a subterfuge.
Trump is stuck in the middle, eager to get on with the job, but “his” party is particular that the deals are with the GOP exclusively. Since the hurricane, Trump’s bipartisan tilt has drawn rave reviews and the polls show that the voters want both parties to cooperate. It is the wish of the GOP to return to the bad old days of gridlock.
As well it endangers Trump’s tax reform package which would be subject to filibuster. He needs Democrats and any shoddy last minute replace and repeal would deal a death blow to that initiative. Indeed Trump has tried to appease the party’s ideological barons at his expense. His United Nations performance was neo-conservative boiler plate which did him little good. To revisit “Axis of evil” is going down a road that leads nowhere. To follow them down on healthcare would cut the pins out from the president’s agenda.
Trump showed the way a few weeks back and he needs to continue to play this winning hand.