More than 100 members of Congress converged at the White House Thursday afternoon in a rare Rose Garden ceremony to crank up the joy 0ver the passage of a bill out of just one chamber regarding health care. They, along with President Trump, were so eager to pass anything–and I mean ANYTHING–that they were willing to gamble on a proposal that was not even reviewed by the CBO, and has almost no chance of passing the Senate.
As I watched this eager bunch of mostly men celebrate in truly an over-the-top-fashion I thought back to some guys in high school who were so eager to lose their virginity they were willing to go out with some real low-lifes just to get laid. Anything for a score is not the way to succeed. And the American public knows that.
One might have assumed from the party atmosphere–if you were an undereducated voter–that the ACA had been fully repealed and replaced. Of course it hasn’t been undone and polls show it has more approval now from the public than ever before. Moderate Republicans, who understand the importance of Medicaid in their states and the absolute bottom line of making sure people with pre-existing conditions are not placed in a position where they can not afford health care, are not to be swayed as easily as the Tea Party members in the House. In fact the Senate GOP is expected to throw out most of the House bill and start from scratch. Assuming Senate Republicans can craft a bill that they can get 51 votes behind—a tall order in an ideologically diverse caucus with very few votes to spare—they’ll have to reconcile the differences with the House between what are sure to be two different bills. I can hear the three-thumb crowd in the House already scream.
Lets be honest. The celebration was rather ridiculous and very premature. But it does show how desperate Trump and House Republicans were for anything they can spin as a successful vote. Trump is able to claim a role as a negotiator, and Speaker of the House Paul Ryan can say he was able to marshal his unruly and too-often crazy caucus.
But that is all politics.
What concerns the citizenry is how to make sure the health care coverage they now have will not be stripped away and made too expensive to have and use.