Like a petulant child, Trump gives up on healthcare reform, exculpating himself and saying “Let Obamacare fail”

Now that the TrumpCare health bill won’t even make it to discussion on the Senate floor, Trump has simply given up on his major campaign promise and is saying, in effect, “if you can’t play by my rules, I’m taking away the ball and ending the game.” As CNN reports:

Trump was prepared to shoulder no blame for the failure of the bill on Tuesday, and warned he would now simply let Obamacare fail.

“We’re not going to own it. I’m not going to own it. I can tell you the Republicans are not going to own it. We’ll let Obamacare fail and then the Democrats are going to come to us,” Trump told reporters at the White House.

So far however, there is no sign that the Democrats would take part in any effort that would effectively repeal Obamacare. And it seems just as likely that a crisis in the health care industry, involving Americans losing health insurance, would come back to hurt the party in power, in Congress and the White House — Republicans.

There’s little doubt that Trump and his minions will help Obamacare fail, hoping, perhaps, that that will cause the Senate to finally pass Trump’s legislation. But, as CNN notes correctly, the big losers here are the Republicans. After all, this was their major campaign pledge, and it sank in a morass of Republican infighting. Those who were previously satisfied with Obamacare will be ticked off if the Republicans make it more expensive or onerous. and those who weren’t satisfied will blame the GOP for not improving their situation. And even the most pro-Trump Republican can hardly fail to notice that Trump, having failed to deliver his Big Pledge, is now acting that it’s not his fault that it failed—even with his party controlling Congress. After all, saying “I’m not going to own it” means “It’s not my fault.”

Harry Truman famously had a sign on his Oval Office desk that said “the buck stops here.” With Trump the sign might as well be “The buck stops everyplace BUT here.”

What we need now is a bipartisan effort to fix the healthcare bill we have, which is ailing as companies drop out or raise premiums or qualfications. But the chance of such an effort is about equal to the chance that Trump will start acting Presidential.



  1. Posted July 18, 2017 at 3:47 pm | Permalink

    I don’t think Drumpf fully realizes the danger he’s in.

    That email chain from his son puts in black-and-white the heart of the worst allegations against him: the Russian government had an official propaganda campaign to help put Drumpf in the White House, and Drumpf’s campaign was eager to work with them. And Kushner and Manafort were at the meeting.

    Now, on the heels of that treacherous betrayal of America to our most dangerous adversary…comes the complete collapse of any chances of him being in any way useful to pursuing the famed “Republican agenda.” No Obamacare repeal, and, frankly, without that, no tax reform.

    He’s not only useless to the Republicans, he’s a liability.

    Fox News hasn’t twigged to it, yet, but they’re giving every impression of being a Putin mouthpiece; if anybody goes down with the ship, they will.

    Congress, on the other hand, has every incentive right now to turn on Drumpf and dump him like the hot potato(e) he so clearly is.



    • Kevin
      Posted July 18, 2017 at 3:57 pm | Permalink

      Small children rarely have the ability to anticipate the hazards of walking into heavy traffic in their diapers.

    • GBJames
      Posted July 18, 2017 at 4:24 pm | Permalink

      You are right in that “tRump” and “realizes” don’t really go together in a sentence.

      But I don’t have your confidence that Republicans will drop their hot potato. Their base has been well trained to ignore reality. I’m afraid that they will (mostly) stay on the same destructive path, destroying everything they are capable of destroying.

      • Posted July 18, 2017 at 4:39 pm | Permalink

        The first big concern is how many of them the Russians own, of course. Sessions was clearly wholly paid for, so we know they can do it.

        But I don’t think it’s unreasonable to suggest that they don’t own all of them, or even necessarily a majority of them. It wouldn’t be too much of a stretch to get 24 (out of 241) in the House to vote to impeach. Getting 16 Republican senators to impeach would be the bigger hurdle…but there’s about that many who’ve been consistently showing up in the news as thorns in his side.

        His ratings are already in the toilet. We’ll see what happens in the coming weeks, but it’s a safe bet that they’ll tank even further; current polls don’t yet reflect the Junior emails and especially not the repeal-and-replace debacle. If his approvals wind up in the 20s or lower, he’s toast. If they get stuck in the low 30s, his chances are slim. They’re already stuck in the upper 30s.



        • Historian
          Posted July 18, 2017 at 5:40 pm | Permalink

          No president has ever been removed from office by the impeachment process. To have Trump removed when his party controls both houses of Congress would be a political earthquake. I don’t think it will happen no matter what the Russia investigations uncover. However, the Republican elders may encourage him to resign as was the case with Nixon. I have no idea how he would react. Assuming he is still in office and running for re-election in 2020, I would not be surprised if one or more Republicans challenge him for the nomination. It’s too early to opine on how that might turn out.

        • rickflick
          Posted July 18, 2017 at 6:23 pm | Permalink

          If he survives this trial by common decency and human values, he’s bound for a second term, unless dems get their shit together.

          • Posted July 19, 2017 at 7:59 am | Permalink

            Unless the Dems get their shit together… *and* can circumvent the (by then) heavily compromised electoral procedures… And a war time president can count on support. (I expect the US to be fighting Russia’s wars by then.)

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted July 18, 2017 at 6:13 pm | Permalink

      Very few congressional Republicans have any loyalty to, or affection for, Donald Trump. And now they’re seeing the long-awaited opportunity to enact their legislative agenda come undone. What’s keeping them in line right now is Trump’s high approval ratings with Republicans in general, and in particular with the third of the population that constitutes his hardcore, very vocal base. As those numbers eventually drop — and as the threat of their being “primaried” by far-right candidates from Trump’s flying monkey brigade correspondingly dissipates — the Republicans in congress will drop him like a hot rock.

      It’s become painfully clear that Trump has been compromised in some manner by the Russians — due either to campaign collusion, or to his financial ties to the oligarchs, or to some other form of kompromat, or to all of the above — and that he’s eager to adopt pro-Putin policies as a consequence. Once you accept that, everything Trump has done makes sense, from his refusal to disclose his tax returns, to today’s news about the latest Russians found to have attended the secret Trump Tower meeting with Junior, to all the suspicious activity in between. No other plausible explanation for Trump’s conduct has been put forward by his defenders. To think the Donald innocent, you must accept that it’s all just an astounding concatenation of unfortunate coincidence.

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted July 18, 2017 at 7:09 pm | Permalink

        Add to this the late-breaking news that Trump had a second meeting with Putin at the G20 summit, in which the two spoke privately with only Putin’s translator present.

        Un-freakin’-believable. When all is said and done, this will likely go down as the worst scandal in our nation’s history — a president disloyal to his own country.

      • Posted July 19, 2017 at 6:53 am | Permalink

        Well, one way they’ve got him by the balls is money.

        A while back, all legitimate “western” banks dropped Trump for the lying fraud that he is. Trump had to go begging to the Russians for money. They hold his paper — the paper that continues to inflate his phony empire.

        They could reveal that the emperor has no clothes at any time. (And I imagine they have compromising videos and audio and written stuff from him as well: Hookers, who knows what all else.)

        This is simply golden for Putin! He’s got the POTUS exactly where he wants him. Only fly in the ointment for Putin is that Trump is such an incompetent child.

    • Posted July 18, 2017 at 9:02 pm | Permalink

      I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Trump will not get impeached before the mid term elections. Were he to be impeached now, his supporters would almost certainly turn against the Republican Congress perhaps causing them to lose control in the mid-terms. Unbelievably, he still has an approval rating in the high 30’s so there must still be a sizeable number of Trump supporters left.

  2. John Conoboy
    Posted July 18, 2017 at 3:49 pm | Permalink

    I don’t see much hope for any bipartisan effort. Sadly, unless something is done, it is likely that Obamacare will fail because with the uncertainty that has been created by the republicans will cause insurance companies to take action to protect themselves, such as raising premiums and backing out of the exchanges.

    • Nicholas K.
      Posted July 18, 2017 at 4:05 pm | Permalink

      The Republicans had a chance, way back when, to negotiate with the Dems and Obama. If they had done that, they may have ended up with a health care policy that they could live with. Of course, that meant giving Obama a perceived “win.” So it was out of the question.

      This demonstrates that they are not concerned with governing. Now the plan is to let 17 percent of the total U.S. economy collapse? What then? Whatever it is, the Republicans and Trump (if he is still in office — I think he may not be) will own it whether they want to or not.

      • darrelle
        Posted July 19, 2017 at 11:45 am | Permalink

        Not so sure about your brief history of the ACA. The Republicans did have a say in the ACA. Quite a few concessions were granted to the Republicans to the detriment of the final version of the ACA that eventually passed.

        Sure, they would rather have prevented it all together even though it was based almost entirely on a plan that they themselves authored and instituted in at least one state because, OBAMA(!). But they did manage to fuck it up pretty well, no doubt so that they could more easily blame Obama and the Democrats for its failure.

    • eric
      Posted July 18, 2017 at 5:44 pm | Permalink

      Actually, I would think if the Republicans finally give up on it, that would give the market some stability until at least November 2018. What’s hurting it is the constant threat of revision/change without anyone knowing what that change will look like.

      I also don’t see much likelihood in a bipartisan effort. The parties want very different policy outcomes. And while it’s hypothetically possible for the Dems to pull 5 GOP moderate senators into making a moderate bill, (a) they have no chance in the House, and (b) I think McConnell can use Senate rules to prevent it even getting a vote, and (c) ignoring all that, there is still no way they get the supermajority needed to get past a presidential veto.

      • Heather Hastie
        Posted July 19, 2017 at 9:04 am | Permalink

        The problem there is the Dems can no longer agree. They’re split between those determined to get single-payer, and those who just want to fix Obamacare. They could probably find agreement if they were in the majority, but it’s unlikely in the current circumstances.

  3. busterggi
    Posted July 18, 2017 at 3:52 pm | Permalink

    Trump owns it, the Repubs own it – they’re in charge and maintenance of systems is the responsibility of those in charge.

    The Russians may just have some hooks into some of the Repub Congress – their willingness to die for what is only a minority of their own supporters is otherwise inexplicable.

  4. JonLynnHarvey
    Posted July 18, 2017 at 4:00 pm | Permalink

    There are many cartoons on this theme. Here is one that may be apropos

  5. Randy schenck
    Posted July 18, 2017 at 4:03 pm | Permalink

    You are absolutely right, the injured in all of this are the citizens who either need it or already have ADA insurance. And, instead of admitting gross failure the republicans and certainly Trump are just going to walk away. They have been causing the very failure that lies in front of this and they don’t even want to admit that. They will all pay dearly in the next election.

    I doubt Trump gives a damn because he will not be around long anyway. His time is over before it started and the committee to investigate him will eventually finish him off. I believe Trump may be the republicans last gasp. However, I have been wrong before and the Democrats need new leadership to take advantage. At the state level this is already taking place.

    • Randy schenck
      Posted July 18, 2017 at 4:21 pm | Permalink

      sorry (ACA)

    • Saul Sorrell-Till
      Posted July 19, 2017 at 8:44 am | Permalink

      Is it possible to get a relatively objective summary of why the right hates Obamacare so much? I keep speaking to right-wingers who seem relatively sane, who think Obamacare is one of the worst things ever – granted that kind of hysteria is never a good sign but there must be something to what they say, simply because I never hear the left really deal with the right-wing arguments.

      I’m English and I haven’t got much of a clue about Obamacare, although my instinct is to be for quite a lot more than against, and I’d be grateful if anyone could give me a precis of what’s going on, including the inconvenient facts that liberals and left-wingers don’t mention. Anytime it comes up I feel completely out of my depth for the simple reason that no matter how many times I read about it I never feel like I’m getting a non-partisan account. The same thing happens with Israel-Palestine – I want to educate myself but there doesn’t seem to be anyone without a dog in the fight.

      • Heather Hastie
        Posted July 19, 2017 at 9:49 am | Permalink

        These are some of the things Republicans don’t like:

        1. Before Obamacare, no company had to provide health insurance to their employees as part of their employment. Post-Obamacare, companies employing more than 50 full-time employees had to provide insurance to all those working more than 30 hours per week. The GOP says this stops companies growing, and that people were deliberately having their hours reduced below 30 so a company didn’t have to provide insurance.

        Companies can get big discounts from insurance companies because the insurer gets long-term access to people more likely to be healthy.

        2. People were told, “if you like your healthcare plan, you can keep your healthcare plan.” This wasn’t true because under Obamacare, insurance policies had to meet certain criteria. This was to stop the large number of junk plans being sold. However, a lot of people with those junk plans didn’t believe they were junk, so didn’t feel helped. All they noticed was either an increase in premiums or an increase in co-pays and other such costs. Also, one of the Obamacare requirements was for plans to cover contraception, which caused a major brouhaha amongst religious conservatives.

        3. Everyone had to have medical insurance. If they didn’t, they had to pay extra taxes. SCOTUS intervened to allow this part of the law. Republicans thought they could get Obamacare thrown out because of this provision, but SCOTUS voted 5-4 in favour of allowing it. Compelling someone to buy insurance is not really any different to a tax. Democrats insisted it wasn’t a tax. Republicans balk at the government requiring them to do anything – that’s unAmerican.

        There are other things too, but those are the three main ones. Obviously, in a system like the NHS or ours in NZ, none of these things would matter. Our healthcare costs are a smaller amount of GDP than theirs, the quality is just as good or better, everyone is covered, it’s not tied up with employment, our life expectancy is longer and lots more. Single payer is better, but again, it’s UnAmerican.

        • Saul Sorrell-Till
          Posted July 19, 2017 at 11:45 am | Permalink

          Thanks. This is what I mean – all those things seem like legitimate complaints, just about, but none of them seem anything like onerous enough to warrant the complete consensus on the right(even among decent, principled conservatives) that Obamacare is a “disaster”.
          What about this: I’ve heard from conservative business owners who say their primary reason for voting Trump was the repeal of Obamacare; they say their employees are literally going bankrupt, mortgaging their houses, etc. because of increased premiums. If this were true I’d see that as a legitimate reason for opposing(the current version of) it, but I can’t believe that the previous government would have just left people out to dry like that.

          • darrelle
            Posted July 19, 2017 at 12:29 pm | Permalink

            Without seeing some statistics from a reliable source I’m going with, “that’s complete bullshit.” Premiums have continued to increase over time, but at a significantly lower rate than they were prior to ACA. That’s what statistics from reliable sources show. It’s also what I have seen personally experienced and seen.

            As far as people being forced to buy insurance or pay the penalty, and thereby being forced into bankruptcy, I’d have to see the data to believe it is a significant issue. I’ve neither seen or heard of a single such instance. I’m sure some small percentage of people have gotten into serious financial issues but strongly doubt it is a serious issue. Though as Heather said truly junk plans are not allowed “disaster only” plans are available for significantly less than what most would consider a comprehensive plan. Another factor, the ACA subsidizes insurance costs based on income. The less you make the less you pay.

            Medical costs and insurance in the US are beyond screwed up. One of myriad dead give aways that the system has been thoroughly gamed is the difference in costs between group plans and individual plans. Group plans are supposed to be more affordable because a larger pool of people to spread risk out over across time should make policies cheaper. But that isn’t the case. I’ve never in my adult life come across a group insurance plan that was less expensive than an individual plan of comparable coverage. Not once, not even close. They are significantly more expensive. Sure, if your employer covers part of your costs, which many do, that may make it cheaper for you the direct employee. But adding your spouse and children to your group plan will be more expensive than just getting a separate individual plan for them while you stay with the group plan. Why? Liars, cheaters and stealers gaming the system. Group insurance isn’t about saving people money, if it ever was. It is a way for insurance companies to make more money by, among other things, enlisting employers in making it more difficult for people to shop around for insurance and securing more customers for them. For example, insurance companies require a certain level of participation from companies, meaning a certain percentage of employees must participate in the plan. This results in employers pressuring their employees to participate.

          • Heather Hastie
            Posted July 19, 2017 at 7:03 pm | Permalink

            Imo, it’s mostly because they are told that Obamacare is bad that people believe it. As people get to know it for themselves, a majority now approve of it.

            There are people who are worse off under Obamacare. Most are those that didn’t have health insurance before, or had the cheap plans. There are also (mostly young) people who are choosing to pay the fine (S1,000 per person per year I think) because that would be cheaper than insurance.

            There possibly are people for whom premiums for proper plans mean they are now in dire financial straights. However, those same people would have been in the $hit if anyone in the family had become really ill, especially the major breadwinner, because their insurance wouldn’t have helped.

            It’s also what people in the US see as priorities, and especially if they’re currently healthy, don’t see health insurance as a priority. It’s like all the people in Tornado Alley who build beautiful new houses, spending as much as possible to outdo their neighbours. Then they are killed when a tornado comes through because they didn’t spend $20,000 putting in a storm shelter under the house. Most new homes in Tornado Alley are built without a storm shelter.

        • rickflick
          Posted July 19, 2017 at 1:20 pm | Permalink

          “Single payer is better, but again, it’s UnAmerican.”

          Yes, I think this is recognized by most people who actually study the issue in any depth and with an open mind. But it is un-American in the sense that our history is steeped in the mythology of laissez-faire capitalism, the sacredness of individualism as opposed to socialism, the fear of big government, the worship of the legendary lone cowboy who depends only on his horse, and the streak of libertarianism running through conservative politics. All this has to be overcome in order to arrive at a fully functional and compassionate civilization.

          • Heather Hastie
            Posted July 19, 2017 at 7:12 pm | Permalink

            I agree. And I think that’s the problem with the US – it sees socialism and individualism as mutually exclusive. Of course, the countries they look to confirm their pov are those of the communist ones of the former Soviet bloc.

            However, modern socialism, as it’s practiced in NZ, Australia, Canada, Great Britain, France, Scandinavia etc does not mean a loss of individualism. In fact, because we have single-payer health systems, we are more free. In NZ and Aus, for example, we create new businesses at a faster rate than the US because no one has to worry about the cost of health care for themselves, their families, or their employees.

          • rickflick
            Posted July 19, 2017 at 7:19 pm | Permalink

            The reason, perhaps, that the US is so backward on socialism might simply be that the corporate interests got the upper hand early on and have found ways to keep there mortal fear of socialism at the forefront of the social conversation. They essentially own one of the two national parties.

  6. tubby
    Posted July 18, 2017 at 4:14 pm | Permalink

    To give him some credit, I doubt he has played any role in developing Trumpcare, let alone has much (if any) idea of its specifics. It’s Ryan’s and Mcconnell’s baby. So what can he own other than destabilizing the markets to try to make the ACA fail so he can crow about its failing?

    • Randy schenck
      Posted July 18, 2017 at 4:27 pm | Permalink

      You are correct except memory can be short. Trump took up the banner of repeal and carried it throughout the campaign and beyond. He is the one who said, it will be repealed the day he is elected. That is why the republicans made the fatal mistake of attempting this as their first big deal. So he became co-owner whether he likes it or not. So now their big plan to reduce taxes for the rich and do much of anything are going down the drain. It all depended on destroying Medicaid and remember, that was the real goal.

      • tubby
        Posted July 18, 2017 at 4:33 pm | Permalink

        I kind of suspect breaking insurance providers might be another goal, as shared risk is something they seemed to hate the idea of.

        • Randy schenck
          Posted July 18, 2017 at 4:41 pm | Permalink

          Yes they are doing a good job of that but to their own risk. Going way back to when Obama was working on this thing, it was the republicans who wanted to keep the insurance companies in this thing and it was too bad that Obama had to cave in on this. Many people in the know, were skeptical of this marriage with private insurance and believed single payer is the only right way. We live and learn.

  7. Kevin
    Posted July 18, 2017 at 4:22 pm | Permalink

    Thanatos: Trump is proof of a Republican death wish

  8. rickflick
    Posted July 18, 2017 at 4:28 pm | Permalink

    What I can’t figure out is why don’t McConnell and company simply tweak the ACA, rename it Trumpcare, and declare victory with the support of the Democrats. It seem I’ve seen that done before where legislation proposed during a campaign is simply unworkable. Everybody wins, everybody gets credit, except a hand full of zealots yelling from the back of the room.

    • Randy schenck
      Posted July 18, 2017 at 4:33 pm | Permalink

      That is because the republicans never wanted to tweak. They have always wanted to kill, or repeal, whatever you want to call it. They tried 61 times in the House to vote to kill this thing for 7 years. However, like all brainless children, they never thought about what they would do to replace it. In short, they had no plan. It is similar to Bush and his plans for Iraq but why get into that now.

      • rickflick
        Posted July 18, 2017 at 6:20 pm | Permalink

        McConnell is given credit as a legislative genius (disguised as a ninja turtle), yet he’s dropping the proverbial ball like a lead balloon. I think I could have done better and I’m not even an amoral fence post of a politician.

        • darrelle
          Posted July 19, 2017 at 12:38 pm | Permalink

          Yeah, I agree. McConnell doesn’t seem all that savvy to me. At least not in absolute terms. Perhaps relative to his fellow Republicans he is. I admit that Trump makes him seem like a genius.

          Reminds exactly of the nearly constant mentions once upon a time of how smart Newt Gingrich is. I never saw any evidence of that. Unless, again, it is a relative thing.

          • rickflick
            Posted July 19, 2017 at 2:26 pm | Permalink

            Politicians try to generate their own reputations by sowing fabricated legends about their prowess. Gingrich, I think, was a college teacher and could expound frantically using economic terms unfamiliar to the average constituent. This may have produced the notion that he was smart. Time in office is the breeze that separates the wheat from the chaff.

    • eric
      Posted July 18, 2017 at 5:48 pm | Permalink

      1. Because too many conservatives believe what they shovel.

      2. Because (after 8 years of doing everything they can to convince GOP voters it sucks), their constituents believe what they’re shoveling, and will punish them for a merely re-painted ACA.

  9. veroxitatis
    Posted July 18, 2017 at 4:32 pm | Permalink

    “hurt the party in power”. I’m not sure I agree with you Jerry. I read an article a few weeks ago in the Sunday Times supplement about some god forsaken county in West Virginia which had the nation’s worst health statistics but which at the same time had registered the largest percentage voting support for Trump.

    • Historian
      Posted July 18, 2017 at 5:28 pm | Permalink

      You are correct that so far Trump’s base has not deserted him, which is about 35% to 40% of the electorate. Most are so wrapped up in the politics of resentment that they still believe Trump will be their champion against the elites. Their delusion, which is on a par with that of the faithful, boggles the mind. If the Democrats can put up a halfway decent candidate in 2020 (this is not guaranteed), they should win easily if Trump is the candidate. I think the independents would desert him. I would not be surprised if one or more Republicans challenge him for the Republican nomination in 2020, if he is still in office

      • eric
        Posted July 18, 2017 at 6:00 pm | Permalink

        If the Democrats can put up a halfway decent candidate in 2020 (this is not guaranteed), they should win easily if Trump is the candidate

        I don’t see any reason to be that optimistic. First, because his odds as an incumbent are much, much better than his odds were in 2016. Incumbents always have an advantage to begin with, and I think his supporters will see 2016-2020 as a success almost regardless of what happens.

      • Ken Phelps
        Posted July 18, 2017 at 7:23 pm | Permalink

        “Their delusion, which is on a par with that of the faithful…”

        I’m pretty sure they are exactly the same people, and thanks to 50 odd years of “bundling” conservative politics with fundagelical religion, I suspect most can’t distinguish their religion from their politics.

        • Kevin
          Posted July 18, 2017 at 10:32 pm | Permalink

          God is first. If they believe a political agenda is aligned with their faith it becomes part of the jihad.

      • Newish Gnu
        Posted July 19, 2017 at 9:42 pm | Permalink

        I’ve read/heard some interviews recently with man-in-the-street Trump voters. Probably NPR or WaPo. One woman said she voted for Trump and is hoping for a Canadian or Cuban style national health care program. The other was a guy who had needed Legal Aid to get his state to cover him under Medicaid. Trump wants to cut both Legal Aid and Medicaid. The guy said he might reconsider his support for Trump if he actually cuts those programs.

        No wonder Trump’s support stays in the high 30s. His supporters don’t care about facts.

  10. dabertini
    Posted July 18, 2017 at 4:48 pm | Permalink

    Yes, but let’s not forget america is going to get a solar wall!

    • Darth Dog
      Posted July 18, 2017 at 5:09 pm | Permalink

      And not just any solar wall, but a transparent one. So it absorbs sunlight to generate electricity, but it also transmits all the light so that you can see through it. It’s magical!

      • Kevin
        Posted July 18, 2017 at 10:35 pm | Permalink

        Fresnel is Trump’s enemy. Of course it would help if Trump had a clue what electromagnetism is.

  11. Posted July 18, 2017 at 5:28 pm | Permalink

    I am surprised, that with his simple mindedness he did not try to pass a bill that reads. Eat right and exercise. He could have “sold” it with a couple of pictures. Perhaps even with some little graphic icons. Close it up with a hospital icon, circled with a slash through it. Declaring with all the Bush bravado of “Mission Accomplished”

    That it is the “greatest” “best” health care plan ever. Besides being assured that Putin would like it to.

  12. Ken Kukec
    Posted July 18, 2017 at 5:35 pm | Permalink

    Donald Trump cares not a whit about public policy, and — much worse — cares not a whit about the people adversely affected by the policies his administration promotes (or fails to promote, as the case may be). I believe Trump is constitutionally incapable (referring here to Trump’s constitution, not the one drafted in Philadelphia in 1787) of either mastering the substance of new material or of empathizing with others, or at least with others not named “Trump.”

    Trump did little to advance his TrumpDon’tCare bill — aside from engaging in a bit of rah-rah and issuing the occasional threat — because he didn’t know enough of what was in the bill to discuss it intelligently with wavering GOP senators. The man is an embarrassment to himself, to his Party, and to the American people.

  13. Derek Freyberg
    Posted July 18, 2017 at 5:43 pm | Permalink

    Part of the problem is that there isn’t/wasn’t ever a Trumpcare bill. If the orange buffoon had had someone put together a legislative proposal that did what candidate orange buffoon said it should do, that might have been a Trumpcare bill. And its fate would have been interesting – always assuming it were ever presented (and we could be fairly sure it wouldn’t, because what the o.b. was proposing was essentially trying to define independently all three angles of a triangle.
    But what we had was two (three if you count McConnell’s two tries) bills – one from Paul Ryan and friends (but at least discussed fairly widely and publicly before the vote) that was basically DOA in the Senate and that didn’t match the o.b.’s description of what a Trumpcare bill should look like, and one (or two) from McConnell and friends (created in secret) that was basically DOA in the Senate and that didn’t match the o.b.’s description of what a Trumpcare bill should look like.
    And this is like most of what the o.b. has been doing since taking office. He’s governing by executive order, when he can, not getting together with the Republican caucus to pass bills that can be agreed on – he seems to think that he just has to say something and it will happen. Well, maybe it does if he’s talking about the White House dinner menu, but not when it comes to legislation that will both appeal to enough elected representatives (House and Senate) to pass and also stand up in court.
    I like Andy Borowitz today:

  14. Torbjörn Larsson
    Posted July 18, 2017 at 6:52 pm | Permalink

    “Petulant child[-man]” and Trump is superfluous.

    I happened to stumble on a video yesterday from a US CEO (IRRC) conference, because it criticized Trump’s absent politics. This was just after the US dollar took a nosedive after the market realization that Trump is a buffoon, not a deal maker.

    So it appears this CEO for a car company has long been calling the buffoon a “bimbo”.

    Not sure they are the same thing. But I can certainly heap that on the PATOTUS (President And Tw**terer Of The United States).

    • Torbjörn Larsson
      Posted July 18, 2017 at 6:53 pm | Permalink


    • Derek Freyberg
      Posted July 18, 2017 at 11:18 pm | Permalink

      Are you thinking of Jamie Dimon, CEO of JPMorganChase?
      The quote, widely circulated, was “It’s almost an embarrassment being an American citizen traveling around the world and listening to the stupid s— we have to deal with in this country.”

  15. PatrickQ
    Posted July 18, 2017 at 7:01 pm | Permalink

    “Leadership: Whatever happens, you’re responsible. If it doesn’t happen, you’re responsible,”
    -Donald J Trump (2013)

    “We’re not going to own it. I’m not going to own it. I can tell you the Republicans are not going to own it.”
    -Donald J Trump (2017)

  16. Mark R.
    Posted July 18, 2017 at 7:52 pm | Permalink

    And just think how popular dipshit in chief would be if he actually helped people by improving healthcare. He can do it with the power repubs have. He’d be reelected in 2020 if he was seen as creating a better healthcare system. If he went for a single-payer / Medicare for all he’d be unstoppable. I’m glad his henchmen haven’t proposed this, because he doesn’t deserve the credit. Especially since he’d never make that decision to help people, only to boost his stupid name.

    • Derek Freyberg
      Posted July 18, 2017 at 11:19 pm | Permalink

      Hey, I’d accept “Trumpcare” as a name for it if he really did get single payer through, and I might even stop referring to him as an orange buffoon, for a while anyway.

  17. Posted July 18, 2017 at 9:15 pm | Permalink

    But, as CNN notes correctly, the big losers here are the Republicans.

    I disagree. I think the biggest losers are the millions of Americans who look set to lose their healthcare if your comments and those of other posters on the consequences of this decision are correct.

    Almost the only uncontroversial view on the role of the US government is that it has a duty to protect its citizens from its enemies. Well, the biggest enemies of Americans are things like heart disease and cancer. How come the morons in your government cannot see that?

  18. Ken Kukec
    Posted July 18, 2017 at 9:40 pm | Permalink

    “Trump … warned he would now simply let Obamacare fail.”

    Good thing Donald Trump wasn’t elected during the financial crises in the Fall of 2008, after Bear Sterns had gone under and Lehman Bros., Merrill Lynch, Fannie May et al. were tits-up. He’d’ve no doubt said “not my fault, let ’em all fail” — the investment firms, and the automakers, the whole damn world economy.

    All of Trump’s travails thus far have been self-inflicted. He’s yet to face an outside crises. Woe betides us when he does.

    • Mark R.
      Posted July 19, 2017 at 12:36 am | Permalink

      Yes. He hasn’t had anything adult happen to him yet. Especially outside U.S. adult as you imply. Can’t even fathom the idiocy which will ensue. Something serious will happen. Lord Ceiling Cat help us.

    • Posted July 19, 2017 at 8:00 am | Permalink

      That was an official plank of the GOP (or at least Romney) in 2008: Let ’em fail!

      And if they’d done that, we’d be in year 8 of Great Depression II.

      The GOP are so mired in ideology (of the 19th century) they can’t even see straight.

  19. Posted July 19, 2017 at 6:10 am | Permalink

    Um, aren’t leaders (e.g. President of the USA) supposed to, you know, lead and get things done?

    Isn’t it funny how Drumpf claims every good thing and disavows every failure? What integrity! What manly taking of responsibility! (It’s the GOP the party that harped on “responsibility” for so many years? Yes they were.)

    What a child!

  20. John Ottaway
    Posted July 19, 2017 at 7:52 am | Permalink

    I love the optimism of “…even the most pro-Trump Republican can hardly fail to notice…”, but a recent poll amongst Trump supporters showed that only 45% of them think that Donald Jnr met with any Russians, despite him admitting that he did

    It is truly disturbing

  21. Saul Sorrell-Till
    Posted July 19, 2017 at 8:54 am | Permalink

    To a Brit, Trump saying he’d let Obamacare “die” was one of the most incredible, callous things he’s said in his short life as a semi-politician, and that’s saying something. If any British Conservative had whispered that kind of statement about the NHS they’d be hanging from a lamp-post by now.

    Why did that statement not mortify his own side as much as everyone else? Why wasn’t it a Marie Antionette-level miscalculation that ended his career?

    • Posted July 19, 2017 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

      Because a sizable (but not majority) of Americans think that anything like the NHS is “socialism”, aka “Stalinism”, aka “I’ve got mine, so screw you”, and these numbers are *higher* amongst politicians than everyone else.

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted July 19, 2017 at 3:27 pm | Permalink

      It is, perhaps, the most cynical thing an American politician (and certainly any US president) has said during any lifetime now in existence. He gets away with it with his base (many of whom, ironically, depend upon it) because right-wing politicians and media have baselessly demonized the Affordable Care Act since its inception. American politics is no place to look for logic or compassion.

  22. Adam M.
    Posted July 19, 2017 at 11:10 am | Permalink

    Trump already halted enforcement of the individual mandate, helping to ensure that the ACA does fail.

    • jay
      Posted July 19, 2017 at 12:50 pm | Permalink

      The individual mandate (unlike the Swiss system) is MUCH less than the cost of insurance. So it’s meaningless.

      However if it were increased, people would argue that if you can’t afford insurance you can’t afford the penalty.

      My wife’s daughter is stuck in part time jobs because if she goes full time or gets overtime, Obamacare requirements kick in. That extended cost is an irrational burden to many businesses. Can’t blame them, unlike overtime, it locks them into very high costs.

      • Posted July 19, 2017 at 12:56 pm | Permalink

        That burden on business is why pro-business Republicans should be all over Medicaid for All like fleas on a mangy hound.

        Don’t think of it as handouts to mothers of crack babies. Think of it as a public-private cost-sharing collaboration that reduces payroll overhead and incentivizes job creation.



  23. jay
    Posted July 19, 2017 at 12:37 pm | Permalink

    Obama care is collapsing. Several states are down to a single provider, and rates climbing sharply. The economic assumptions behind it have proven to be hopelessly optimistic.

    Unfortunately the Republicans just threw together a not-Obama plan without working with the public about where to go next.

    It will fail on its own, apparently he finally has to play that hand.

    • Posted July 19, 2017 at 12:45 pm | Permalink

      It’s not several states, but several (all rural) counties. In Republican-controlled states that have fought Obamacare tooth-and-nail, and especially have limited Medicaid expansion.

      The only danger to the ACA right now is Drumpf and his agitation to actively destroy it — such as by eliminating the mandate that people must buy insurance whilst keeping the other mandate that companies must accept anybody and everybody regardless of pre-existing conditions. That right there was the lynchpin of the entire agreement; pull it out, and, yes, it all comes tumbling down. But the only person who can pull it is Drumpf, and he’d have to be an heartless idiot to do so.

      …which he is, of course. And, if he does so, the buck will stop with him, no matter how hard he stamps his feet about how unfair it is.

      Oh — and those counties down to a single insurer? Trivially fixable. The Republicans there just have to do what all the other Republicans already have: let the ACA work and stop opting out of key provisions.




  24. Diane G.
    Posted July 20, 2017 at 3:13 am | Permalink


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