Opinion: GOP doesn’t yet grasp its health care predicament

David Perdue, the Republican senator from Georgia, said a very odd thing the other day. He told the AJC’s Greg Bluestein that Republicans are going to have to compromise with Democrats if they hope to address challenges in the nation’s health-care system.

Compromise?

With Democrats? On health care?

That’s a pretty amazing turn of affairs, especially since Republicans haven’t shown a capacity to compromise with their fellow Republicans, let alone with “those people” in the other party. But as Perdue accurately pointed out, referring to the aborted House effort to repeal Obamacare,  “How’d the other direction work out? It didn’t work out very well when we pretty much ignored them.”

Even President Trump is making similar noises, although he does so in typical Trumpian style, accompanied by bluster, bragging and bull-oney. In an interview this week with Fox Business News, Trump claimed that his plan to repeal and replace Obamacare is going great, really great, so great you wouldn’t believe how great it’s going.

“I think we’re doing very well on health care,” Trump told Maria Bartiromo, who nodded along as if she believed it. “It’s been very much misreported that we failed with health care.  We haven’t failed, we’re negotiating and we continue to negotiate and we will save perhaps $900 billion…. We’re going to have great health care.”

However, in an interview a day later with the Wall Street Journal, Trump took another course entirely. After taking a number of small steps to scare insurers away from participating in the Affordable Care Act, he and his administration are now threatening to take action that would bring the whole apparatus crashing down at once.

That is, unless Democrats agree to surrender to stop him.

“What should be happening is [Senate Minority Leader Chuck] Schumer should be calling me up and begging me to help him save Obamacare,” Trump said. “That’s what should happen.  He should be calling me and begging me to help him save Obamacare, along with Nancy Pelosi.”

“The longer — the longer I’m behind this desk and you have Obamacare, the more I would own it.  Right now, we don’t own it at all.”

Ah, but Republicans do own it. They own it all. GOP efforts to undermine the law and dissuade insurance companies from participating have already been well documented. Their incompetence at cobbling together a repeal-and-replace bill capable of clearing the first, very low hurdle, the House of Representatives, has been noted even by those Americans who generally don’t read past the latest Kardashian scandal.

In short, Republicans begged voters for years to give them the power to “fix” health care, and they now have that power. They control the House, the Senate, the White House and the Department of Health and Human Services, which administers the law. But they have yet to fully grasp that with such power comes responsibility, and it is not responsible for the president to threaten to hit the destruct button on health insurance for millions of Americans unless his opponents surrender to him.

Ask Jared and Ivanka, Donald. They’ll tell you.

So yes, in the end this will require significant compromise, but Republicans are nowhere near accepting the terms of what that compromise will be. No bill that strips health insurance from a significant number of Americans is going to become law, especially not with Democratic support. No bill that slashes $900 billion out of Medicaid assistance for the poor, the disabled and those in nursing homes so that wealthy investors can enjoy $900 billion in tax cuts is going to become law, especially not with Democratic support.

Perdue, Trump and their fellow Republicans may be willing to now utter the word “compromise,” but they are a long, long way from accepting what it will really mean.  They face a lot more political pain, a lot more angry voters, a lot more legislative failure, before they understand their situation. They may even have to lose the House.

But it’s going to happen.

 

 

Reader Comments 0

947 comments
JK1951
JK1951

Repeal it. It's a flop. People certainly have the right to health care but they don't have the right to force someone else pay for it.

Iblayz
Iblayz

Bookman would make a great communist. I can read the headline daily and know which article is his. He seems to forget. It was the stupid Democrats that passed this monstrosity and they had to resort to an unusual and controversial method to get it done. It is NOT a republican problem.

DuaneT
DuaneT

@Iblayz Funny you say.  Trump's Steve Bannon is an avowed and admitted Leninist (aka 'Communist'). Obama care is a step it the RIGHT direction- it ain't broke except tot he extent Republicans have screwed it up by gutting the larger risk pool and working to screw we middle class, and the poor, in favor of the rich cronies, big pharma and the insurance cabal. 

Iblayz
Iblayz

@DuaneT @Iblayz You're just jealous of people who have more than you. The top 20 percent of wage earners in this country ALREADY PAY 69 percent of ALL TAXES as it is. So who's getting screwed? And NO, I'm not in that 20 percent. That fact was even published in today's Huffington Post. That's one of the most liberal leaning publications out there. And by the way genius, even though I NEVER vote Democratic, I supported the health care bill. If we require Hospitals to treat everyone who walks in the door, I think its fair to require people to have health insurance. But the stupid politicians were too dumb to make the penalties for not having coverage severe enough.....so the premise doesn't work. Too many poor mouthing bellyachers that do nothing but whine about how UNFAIR it is out there.

Tim Hotle
Tim Hotle

Simply repeal Obamacare. Then reduce taxes.

Peachs
Peachs

Is Citizen's United a Georgia corporation? Why the Amber alerts, against a Georgia born and raised, when we have no idea where the crowd, comes from. Some of that loud granny ad, sounds like a Russian accent!

rdamrak
rdamrak

They must use high schoolers in the AJC IT department.  This site is one big mess

justaniceguy
justaniceguy

He is risen.... and replaced both knock sensors and the KS wiring harness in his son's 2001 Tahoe his morning... Off to the parts store to use my EBT to purchase some throttle body cleaner and dielectric grease. (then I'll probably swing by to see if the new Whole Foods in Kennesaw is open yet to pick up some lobster tails on the EBT)

Happy Good Friday all.

rimsky
rimsky

Tesla will unveil an electric articulated lorry in September, chief executive Elon Musk has said.

Additionally, he said an electric pick-up truck would be shown off in around 18-24 months.

Last year Mr Musk expressed the firm’s desire to branch out beyond cars.

http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-39596833

++++

I thought having 100% Electric big rig will be difficult.  Musk's people are good.

BTW demand for crude oil is down two years in a row.  This I read yesterday.

FIGMO2
FIGMO2

@rimsky

Tesla is a bubble set to burst, and with it? 

The hearts and investments of the enviro crowd.

Musk is smart but not in the way you think, rimsky.

FIGMO2
FIGMO2

@justaniceguy @FIGMO2 @rimsky

Way overpriced and built on emotion.

Its competitors are offering the same quality for a lot less.

Tesla lost $773 million last year. GM made $9 billion in profits.


FIGMO2
FIGMO2

Wisconsin man accused of stealing guns and writing manifesto to President Trump taken into custody

Thank goodness! 

Chris Policronis
Chris Policronis

Obamacare was a poorly constructed bill. there was little thought put into it other than try to put the government in charge. many of its ardent supporters claim that the true purpose of the bill was to fail and put this country in a position where the only viable alternative would be a single payer plan. The only remedy for this is a complete repeal, not a repeal and replace. The Democrat Party owns this and it is a testament to their lust for power and incompetence.

Christine Armstrong
Christine Armstrong

The democrats aren't in charge anymore. Trump and the GOP are in charge now, they made promises regarding health care, and they are now responsible for it.

Yvonne M. Reed
Yvonne M. Reed

No need, I know how it is working and why it isnt sans the bias opinions of those who are selective readers.

Chris Policronis
Chris Policronis

The Democrats created this mess. No republican voted for it. It is solely owned by the Democrat party.

_GodlessHeathen_
_GodlessHeathen_

@rimsky We definitely need to elect leaders based on how Chinese and Russian media feels about them.

rimsky
rimsky

Trump Taps Salesman To Run Military DraftDon Benton has a long record of controversies, but no record of military service...... Benton had originally been expected to fill a top position at the Environmental Protection Agency, where he was part of the Trump “landing team” during the presidential transition.  But this was before Benton began to infuriate his boss, the newly confirmed EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt.  Benton’s habit of interrupting policy discussions to make bizarre comments became so maddening, according to The Washington Post, that senior staff began keeping him out of policy meetings........  All of which posed a dilemma for the president: On one hand, Benton was an early Trump supporter and the chair of Trump’s Washington state campaign. Given how few Republican legislators were early Trump supporters, there was a real desire to reward each one. On the other hand, the agency where Benton was actually qualified to work, the EPA, did not want to hire him.

So Trump’s solution was to give Benton oversight of the military draft.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/don-benton-draft-board_us_58ef89d7e4b0b9e98489e9a0?ncid=inblnkushpmg00000009

+++++++

Doesn't this remind one of Brownie being hired for FEMA?

JeffreyEav
JeffreyEav

Trump can't even do the annual Easter egg roll properly. What incompetence.

BuckeyeGa
BuckeyeGa

right..didnt think anyone could mess up the Easter egg roll

rimsky
rimsky

International security analysts have cast doubt on reports that the United States may be considering a preemptive military strike against North Korea, warning such action could have huge consequences on a key U.S. ally and upset a carefully managed balance of power between Kim Jong Un and the West.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/north-korea-preemptive-strike_us_58f08af1e4b0da2ff85fc53b?ncid=inblnkushpmg00000009&ncid=inblnkushpmg00000009

+++++

Pay close attention President Jared.  Very close attention to the experts.

vabu
vabu

Comment #1our buddy's ex-wife gets 88 an hour on the internet... she's been unemployed for eleven months, last month her check was 18034 just working from home for a few hours every day. check out this sitewww.machine44.com

TBS
TBS

Sweet

rimsky
rimsky

@TBS Can't the IT come up with a program to filter out these comments.  

BuckeyeGa
BuckeyeGa

Havent heard Sheriff Clarke say anything about this recent Gwinett police brutality case..

BuckeyeGa
BuckeyeGa

yep they were fired..they should also be prosecuted. Because often cops get fired from one department and goes to another where they do the same thing

TBS
TBS

He will be on one of the cable infotainment channels today

Waaait for it. Wait for it.