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What To Make Of Ham-Handed Way GOP Health Care Bill Has Been Rolled Out

March 11, 2017

When it comes to politicians rolling out big ideas I tend to look at how messaging is used to show the seriousness of a proposal, the level of support the idea has, and how efforts are made to secure passage.   So you should not be surprised that I find the efforts by House Speaker  Paul Ryan and his desire to repeal the Affordable Care Act with what appears to be a quickly concocted replacement plan a rather sad state of affairs.  After snarling and ripping away at ACA for years there seems to have been no truly serious efforts at finding a replacement plan that would meet the GOP objections and also at the same time meet the health care needs of the nation.

Before getting Ryan’s own caucus behind the measure, or having the numbers run by the CBO, there was instead a mad dash to ram it through congressional committees.  Instead of making sure his own caucus understood the complexities of the plan Ryan held a tutorial for the press.   If congressional players were lost and confused about the contents of the bill might anyone wonder how this all plays in Peoria?

I have no way to rationalize the manner in which Ryan is proceeding other than by his going hard and fast like a military strike being the only hope the GOP has at trying to placate the angry base of their party on this issue.    Does Ryan and a large part of leadership in congress know that the best they can really achieve is an effort, regardless of how ham-handed it turns out to be?

The lack of outreach in the weeks leading up to this moment so editorial boards in local newspapers and the party activists in key states can talk with authority about such a broad proposal is really most remarkable.   Down the road we might be able to look back on this bill and the way it was  rolled out and understand this was all smoke to show their base they tried.

Not a competent attempt to be sure.  But that is how politics at times is played to try and make a point for voters who are angry.

And so it goes.

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