“Obamacare is the law of the land”

. . . or so said Speaker of the House Paul Ryan after Republicans, unable to present a credible alternative to the Affordable Care Act, pretty much gave up. As CNN reports:

Repubicans were unable to muster enough GOP support to bring their health care bill to a vote.

“We came up short, Ryan said, a day after President Donald Trump delivered an ultimatum to House Republicans demanding an end to negotiations.

Trump thanked Ryan for working “very hard” on the failed effort. The real losers,the President said, were Democrats, who didn’t support the bill. They own it, he said. “Let Obamacare explode.”

Democrats gleefully accepted the charge. “Today’s a great day for our country,” House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said. “It’s pretty exciting for us.”

The only downside to this, I think, is that had Republicans passed their own healthcare act, many of those who voted for Trump would lose their healthcare, and might be less inclined to vote for him in 2020. But I’d rather have Americans stay alive than have Trump look bad. As it is, he still looks bad, unable to deliver yet another campaign promise.  Republicans are reprehensible, and this is what they get for vowing to sink ObamaCare without thinking through how they’d do it.

59 Comments

  1. Neil
    Posted March 24, 2017 at 5:02 pm | Permalink

    They’ll do what they can to sabotage Obamacare, and then when it fails just declare that they knew it was going to fail all along and tried to save America from it. And their supporters will believe them.

    • BobTerrace
      Posted March 24, 2017 at 5:14 pm | Permalink

      The Democrats need to keep on proposing ACA changes that will enhance it. The Republicans will keep on voting it down but the ideas will be remembered and so will the disastrous Republican ones that just died.

      • rickflick
        Posted March 24, 2017 at 5:32 pm | Permalink

        That’s right. Obamacare will definitely require fixing. There are problems with it that were not foreseen but which can be resolved with some precision legislation. There will be reluctance on the part of GOP to accede to any dem proposal so not much can be hoped for.

        • Posted March 24, 2017 at 6:08 pm | Permalink

          Republicans have just screwed the pooch. Poor pooch.

          Obamacare is alive and well and popular as of this moment. Maybe a couple scrapes and dings, sure — but nothing big.

          If the Republicans go and drive it into a tree, and try to blame the Democrats for it, their base will ground them until they turn 18.

          Same thing if they don’t stay on top of the oil changes, let the tires go flat, all that sort of thing.

          They had a chance to trade it in at the dealership, but blew it. Couldn’t make up their minds, couldn’t come up with the money. After bragging about how big a wad of cash they had stashed under the bed, and how awesome the red convertible they’d be driving away would be.

          …and now they’re scared that maybe they actually did get that red-headed Russian girl pregnant, after all….

          Cheers,

          b&

          • sshort
            Posted March 24, 2017 at 10:46 pm | Permalink

            Touché! Nice closer on that one.

            Well played, sir.

      • Jim Smith
        Posted March 24, 2017 at 10:05 pm | Permalink

        Yup, start with all of the Republican ‘improvements’ like getting HC across state lines and all of the other ones. Then watch the
        Republicans vote them all down.

  2. BobTerrace
    Posted March 24, 2017 at 5:11 pm | Permalink

    On to:

    Impeachment

    Single Payer healthcare

    • Neil
      Posted March 24, 2017 at 6:39 pm | Permalink

      At first I thought that this might be a hilarious path to single-payer, ironically pushed through by Republicans to save their asses, but so much money will be spent to primary them if they try that that it would never happen. So they’re probably screwed either way. I love that the reality of their “terrific,” totally-not-fake policy ideas is finally being exposed.

    • rickflick
      Posted March 24, 2017 at 10:25 pm | Permalink

      The problem is, how do you get single payer healthcare with the current political environment? I’m thinking – 20 years.

      • Syfer
        Posted March 24, 2017 at 11:19 pm | Permalink

        First you get it presented to the general public. So far Republicans, Democrats and their corporate overlords have successfully driven discussion away from single payer, and the sooner it stops the better.

        Yes, I said Democrats. When ACA was only a proposal, some left wing democrats proposed going single payer. They got told not to sabotage the party.

        http://fair.org/home/media-find-room-for-trumpcare-too-progressive-but-not-for-single-payer/

        • Harrison
          Posted March 25, 2017 at 1:48 am | Permalink

          As much as one has every reason to be upset at Republicans, it’s worth remembering that Obama and the Dems began the healthcare discussion (and so many other things) by negotiating against themselves. They would cave to Republicans before Republicans even made any demands, then be forced to cave more later down the line.

          • Posted March 25, 2017 at 8:15 am | Permalink

            I am firmly convinced that both parties are so fractured and inept, that the current two-party system can no longer function. For 7 years all the Repubs spoke about was repealing the ACA, and now that they have a majority in both houses and the Presidency, they can’t even pass a bill. On the other hand, the Dems are so inept that they can’t stop a single appointee from being confirmed and actually nominated the only person capable of losing an election to the most despicable and inexperienced candidate ever to run for the Presidency.

            I do not know how to fix it, but I do know that Donald Trump is incapable of uniting and moving the country forward.

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted March 25, 2017 at 1:02 am | Permalink

      If Trump had any balls and moxie, he’d turn around and cut a deal with House Democrats, and a score or so of relatively moderate Repbulicans from the so-called “Tuesday group,” to introduce a healthcare “public option” — the interim step on the path to single-payer.

      Alas, Trump is as likely to demonstrate balls and moxie as a monkey is to solve differential equations.

      • Posted March 27, 2017 at 11:56 am | Permalink

        Shame, since the guy is supposedly about “the art of the deal”.

  3. Randy schenck
    Posted March 24, 2017 at 5:27 pm | Permalink

    Just think, since the care act started nearly 7 years ago this same republican congress has voted 30 times or more to abolish the law and the vote has been 100%. It did not go anywhere because they knew in the senate it was dead. Now, with a replacement plan in hand they failed. They are more than pathetic. And it still would not have gone anywhere in the senate, even if they had passed it in the house. As soon as the American voter wakes up and kicks these people out, the next step must be…one payer system. Just like medicare.

    • Harrison
      Posted March 24, 2017 at 9:04 pm | Permalink

      The funny thing is by all estimates pure repeal would not be as bad as their “replacement” plan. The Republicans managed to come up with something worse than just burning the whole thing down. They had to add pissing on the ashes for good measure.

  4. Ann German
    Posted March 24, 2017 at 5:29 pm | Permalink

    We have a special election on May 25 in Montana to replace Congressperson Zinke who was appointed to pgrabber’s cabinet . . . I intend to use the failure of Trumpcare as a talking point when going door to door. I hope, by May 25, voters see the light.

    • Mark Joseph
      Posted March 24, 2017 at 8:13 pm | Permalink

      Best of luck to you!

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted March 24, 2017 at 11:22 pm | Permalink

      Go get ’em, Ann. Turn Montana’s one great big congressional district blue!

  5. jnorman67
    Posted March 24, 2017 at 5:33 pm | Permalink

    In my view, the blame falls on conservative punditry. Sure, Trump and a lot of Republicans ran on a steady stream of ACA-repeal rhetoric, but the outrage against Obamacare was manufactured by talking heads. So, instead of fixing a problem with solutions emerging from the application of reason, we have this political boondoggle.

  6. Rob
    Posted March 24, 2017 at 5:48 pm | Permalink

    All Trump has to do is present the great plan that he promised during the campaign. Coverage for everybody, more affordable, etc.

    Instead, he’s going to blame Ryan, the Freedom Caucus, the democrats, even his son-in-law.

    He said there was a great plan. We never saw it.

    What a loser.

    • Diane G.
      Posted March 25, 2017 at 12:08 am | Permalink

      “Nobody knew that healthcare could be so complicated.”

      Shit my president says.

  7. Posted March 24, 2017 at 5:57 pm | Permalink

    Drumpf is, potentially, even more of a lame duck than Obama ever was.

    This was not only his first legislative test, it was his biggest deal of his life — for the guy who literally wrote the book on it, no less.

    And he blew it.

    Spectacularly.

    Sad.

    The whole world now knows he’s all hat and no cattle.

    Gorsuch is probably toast. Sure, he’ll get 50 votes, but the odds that the Senate will give up the filibuster for a duck as lame as Señor Smallinpants are slim, indeed.

    And tax reform? When he won’t even release his own taxes?

    Fuggedaboudit.

    Dude’s a YUGE failure in just two months. I’ll be surprised if he lasts the rest of the year.

    Cheers,

    b&

    • Randy schenck
      Posted March 24, 2017 at 6:23 pm | Permalink

      I like the phrase, All hat and no horse but it’s all the same in the end. His next big deal, a tax structure change, meaning more for the rich and garbage for everyone else should go over big. Trumpy is finding out that you can’t really live by bumper stickers alone.

      • sshort
        Posted March 24, 2017 at 10:54 pm | Permalink

        I’m from Texas, my girlfriend from New York. “All hat and no cattle” is her favorite of my many regional colloquialisms. She has found occasion to use it to great effect.

        • Ken Kukec
          Posted March 25, 2017 at 12:40 am | Permalink

          You ask me, Ms. Molly Ivins did the nation (and The Nation) a great service by introducing so many pungent Texasisms into our national political discourse. 🙂

          • ajlowry
            Posted March 25, 2017 at 5:05 am | Permalink

            I miss her. I still pronounce it “oal bidness” in her memory, and Perry will always be “Goodhair” to me.

            • Marta
              Posted March 25, 2017 at 9:02 am | Permalink

              She also said, after Pat Buchanan’s speech at the Republican Convention in ’92 that it “sounded better in the original German.”

              • gravelinspector-Aidan
                Posted March 25, 2017 at 6:38 pm | Permalink

                it “sounded better in the original German.”

                No idea who Molly Ivins is/ was, but on this side of the Atlantic I could hear the fizzing as that one etched itself into the paper.

              • Ken Kukec
                Posted March 25, 2017 at 7:01 pm | Permalink

                Molly Ivins was a fullbore Texas gal and that rara avis, a Lone-Star liberal. She also happened to be one of the keenest, funniest political writers ever to grace American journalism.

                Here’s a link to one of the great pieces she wrote for The Nation (the weekly that also brought C. Hitchens to the USA). Enjoy.

              • GBJames
                Posted March 25, 2017 at 7:08 pm | Permalink

                I do miss Molly Ivins. I like to imagine A dinner conversation between her and Christopher Hitchens.

              • Diane G.
                Posted March 25, 2017 at 8:48 pm | Permalink

                I’da loved to go partying with her & Ann Richards!

  8. GBJames
    Posted March 24, 2017 at 6:01 pm | Permalink

    Amen, brother.

  9. Posted March 24, 2017 at 6:34 pm | Permalink

    You know…it just occurred to me.

    A lot of Republicans who detest Drumpf rallied to his side on the premise that he was, far and away, their best hope at achieving their legislative agenda.

    Sure, he’s a serial sexual predator, can’t tell the truth to save his life, and probably a Russian agent. But he was also happy to champion their own pet projects — and that was good enough for the Republicans.

    But now, they know he can’t even deliver on that much…so what’s left in it for them?

    Threats of primary challenges? From a Resident whose net-negative approval rating is unprecedented? Yeah, right.

    Expect the cracks to widen, fast….

    Cheers,

    b&

    • gravelinspector-Aidan
      Posted March 25, 2017 at 6:41 pm | Permalink

      A lot of Republicans who detest Drumpf rallied to his side on the premise that he was, far and away, their best hope at achieving their legislative agenda.

      Schadenfreude is such an ugly, but utterly necessary, emotion.
      I can’t remember seeing “Club” around for a while.

  10. Randy schenck
    Posted March 24, 2017 at 6:53 pm | Permalink

    It is also good to remember, this legislation that bombed out today was a real piece of crap if anyone cared to look. Every medical association in the country came out against it and millions of people raised hell with their congressmen when they tried to sell it in those public gatherings. The Trump base that voted for him were going to get slammed with this bill, if it had gone thru. When a terrible and disgusting bill goes down in flames, you have to like it.

  11. somer
    Posted March 24, 2017 at 7:30 pm | Permalink

    Great news. and more discredit on Drumpf.

    • Posted March 24, 2017 at 7:57 pm | Permalink

      I am a Brit but have followed the debacle that is “grab ’em by the pussy” Trump. I really feel sorry that an idiot of his magnitude was given the reigns of your great country. For me the most telling thing was that, during his ‘busy’ working day, he could find time to threaten a 17 year old girl with legal action for damaging his good name with a cartoon of a cat scratching Mr Gump. Good name? The only good name for him I can think of is 4 letters and far too crude to put here! He should sue himself foot slandering his ‘good’ name every time he speaks.

      • Syfer
        Posted March 24, 2017 at 11:25 pm | Permalink

        How about Donald Dump?

      • Diane G.
        Posted March 25, 2017 at 12:14 am | Permalink

        Thanks for the sympathy, Christopher. Allow me to return the favor and commiserate with you on Brexit. I’m getting really worried about the West…

      • somer
        Posted March 25, 2017 at 11:38 am | Permalink

        Personally Im not American, but I likewise commiserate Americans on Trump and wholeheartedly agree with your sentiments; the last 15 months of Western politics boggles the mind.

  12. Harrison
    Posted March 24, 2017 at 9:01 pm | Permalink

    It’s a farce to blame this on Dems because they don’t have enough of a presence in the House to stop anything.

    What actually killed this bill was the large number of Republicans who were against it, somewhat fairly, for being identical in structure to Obamacare except weaker and far more prone to the sort of “death spiral” they’ve been falsely claiming will affect the ACA. It’s as though they set out to make a system that was everything they ever said Obamacare was and then some.

    If what Trump and his morons wanted was Dems to rally to his side to make up for the fractious Republicans not giving enough support then sure as hell he’s not going to get that. Dems had everything to gain and nothing to lose by simply sitting back and letting the Republicans own this mess either way.

    • Historian
      Posted March 24, 2017 at 10:17 pm | Permalink

      The real reason the bill failed is that the far right wing of the Republicans in the House, the so-called “Freedom Caucus,” felt that it did not go far enough in denying benefits to those who need them the most. Hence, they denied Paul Ryan the votes necessary to pass the bill. As Ryan tried to appease these people, making it even more conservative, relatively moderate Republicans(emphasis on relatively) could no longer support the bill, while the Freedom Caucus, the extremist ideologues they are, would not budge in their opposition. The debacle for Ryan and Trump ensued.

      For these cruel and heartless people, freedom means that none of their money should be used to help those who need health care, who by definition don’t deserve it since they can’t afford it. So, ironically, many of their clueless constituents who voted for them and are dependent on the health exchanges or Medicaid will continue to receive these benefits. We can expect the Freedom Caucus to oppose other Republican proposals, such as “tax reform,” i.e., bigger tax breaks for the rich because they are not conservative enough for them. This group of vile people may turn out to be the Democrats’ best friend. That’s politics and Obamacare lives!

      • nicky
        Posted March 25, 2017 at 12:18 am | Permalink

        That ‘Freedom Caucus’ appears to be to the ‘right’ what SJW’s and ‘intersectional feminists’ are to the ‘left’. Or is that a flawed symmetry?

        • Historian
          Posted March 25, 2017 at 6:29 am | Permalink

          The major difference, among many, between the groups is that “social justice warriors” have minimal influence on society, except perhaps on some college campuses, while members of the Freedom Caucus are elected members of Congress and had a profound influence on the future course of one fifth of the American economy – healthcare. They will also be major players in determining future legislation in areas such as taxes, trade, and immigration. Although they consist only of about 35 members of the House of Representatives and are Republicans, their united opposition to legislation proposed by the Republican leadership can prevent anything being passed in the House. This is because it is likely that the Democrats will overwhelmingly oppose any proposed Republican legislation for reasons, of course, diametrically opposed to that of the Freedom Caucus. Politics makes strange bedfellows, as the old cliché goes.

  13. Beth Purkhiser
    Posted March 24, 2017 at 9:50 pm | Permalink

    “Let Obamacare explode.” Sounds a lot like hoping the country will fail. Just what we need for a president. I think the scare over possibly losing their health coverage probably woke a lot of them up finally. But then again, I thought there was no chance Twitler would beat Clinton. I know nothing. I know that now. Wait…

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted March 25, 2017 at 12:29 pm | Permalink

      Trump to American public: “Après Trumpcare failure, le déluge.”

  14. Posted March 24, 2017 at 11:56 pm | Permalink

    As I commented to my workmate when I overheard the latest news about the healthcare issues in the US … again …

    Them thar republicans, just aren’t happy unless they are taking stuff away from poor folks.

    I’m sure there will be more and more dramatic tantrums from trump about this issue still to come (I think I shall call them tantrumps from now on).

  15. Ken Kukec
    Posted March 24, 2017 at 11:57 pm | Permalink

    … this is what [the Republicans] get for vowing to sink ObamaCare without thinking through how they’d do it.

    Hey, they only had seven years to plan for this day. Dozens of times over those years, when there was nothing on the line, the Republicans voted unanimously to repeal Obamacare. But as soon as there was money on the table, they choked, folding like cheap tv trays.

    Trump couldn’t rally his troops because he knows fuck-all about health-care policy (and can’t be arsed to learn any). When he went up the Hill to negotiate with Congressional Republicans, it was obvious to all he didn’t know enough about his own bill to do any rational horsetrading.

    All he could do was threaten and cajole, and he came up empty: The Art of the Schlemiel.

  16. Diane G.
    Posted March 25, 2017 at 12:25 am | Permalink

    From three straight posts–“Twitler,” “tantrumps,” and “The Art of the Schlemiel.” I finally see Trump’s hidden talent–inspiration for deliciously subversive wordsmiths.

  17. Posted March 25, 2017 at 12:46 am | Permalink

    Reblogged this on The Logical Place.

  18. Posted March 25, 2017 at 2:08 am | Permalink

    Keep in mind, this president is the same guy who said “nobody knew healthcare could be so complicated,” when he was possibly the only person in the developed world who didn’t know it.

  19. Posted March 25, 2017 at 5:06 am | Permalink

    This all smells like a trap. “Let Obamacare explode” sounds like a dog whistle to HMOs to undermine the ACA. I’d expect faster rising premiums and deductibles and decreasing benefits. Then when people have have had enough, they’ll blame the ACA and Repubs get their repeal…Something is rotten in the District of Columbia!

    • rickflick
      Posted March 25, 2017 at 6:49 am | Permalink

      If the dems can artfully propose legislation to repair certain problems with the ACA, they could establish in the public’s mind what should be done to fix it. The GOP will ignore the proposed legislation, but the dems could use that against them in elections, pointing out that the GOP is the cause of ACA’s failure.

    • Posted March 25, 2017 at 7:57 am | Permalink

      Phil, that is what I suspect too. And I suspect dems will fall into it.

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted March 25, 2017 at 8:44 am | Permalink

      “Something is rotten in the District of Columbia!”

      And you can smell the stank emanating from the West Wing all the way from here.

      But, pace what Horatio replied to Marcellus, Heaven will not direct it.

    • GBJames
      Posted March 25, 2017 at 9:33 am | Permalink

      I don’t think it will go down like that. The whole “Obamacare is exploding” is nothing but a Republican bumper sticker slogan. There are far more people benefiting from the current system than there are “losers” and without changing the law that will likely remain so.

      There are real problems, of course, but none of them get addressed by repealing Obamacare. Until we get some sort of “Medicare for all”, we’re unlikely to see much improvement, IMO. This is the high water mark (I hope) of Republican extremist governance and they’ve blown their only shot at “repeal and replace”. Bumperstickers just don’t turn into laws very easily.

  20. Steve Brooks
    Posted March 25, 2017 at 4:44 pm | Permalink

    This is welcome news for the health care of the nation.

  21. Posted March 27, 2017 at 11:59 am | Permalink

    I just reread an old paper by philosopher Nelson Goodman: in it he makes the example (of what escapes me) that someone cannot expect to rule to rule the universe simply because he’s named “Donald”.

    I thought that was somehow appropriate.


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