Since before the legislation known as “Obamacare” was even passed, Republicans have vowed to oppose the Democratic Party’s legislative attempts to take on healthcare. Since passage, it has been one of the few topics most Republicans could agree on to some degree. When opposing former President Barack Obama’s re-election and then-former-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Republicans pushed the message of repealing the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
Given all the fiery and loud rhetoric that has remained consistent over the years, many expected more out of a Republican Party that controls both chambers of Congress and the White House. With control of Congress, the party has the votes to put forth an ambitious plan to restore the free markets and back the government out of the healthcare industry. It is something that President Trump would undoubtedly sign.
Instead, Speaker Paul Ryan gave America what amounted to “Obamacare Lite.” It was a weak attempt to tackle an enormous problem and hardly touched it. It was a cheap way for Republicans to say they tackled Obamacare without doing anything radical.
The question at that point was how would President Trump, who many in the Party looked to for leadership, respond?
To the surprise of many, President Trump supported the legislation. Not only did he just support Speaker Ryan’s Obamacare Lite legislation, he campaigned his cause to Congress and even tried to aggressively intimidate members into caving.
On its face, it had appeared President Trump had sold out. Instead of an ambitious repeal of Obamacare, the Republican offering was minimal and weak. But was it all it seemed?
After Speaker Ryan appearing confident for days saying he had the votes to pass, he pulled the legislation without the votes to push it. It was an embarrassing moment for Republicans who had long campaigned on the message and who sincerely believed that Obamacare was a disaster. It was a poor reflection on the unity of the Party and their ability to effectively legislate.
But most of all, it was embarrassing for Speaker Ryan, who showed little leadership and poor control over the entire situation. It was miserably handled and doomed to fail from the start.
Was this the plan all along?
The legislation likely would have never even made it as far as it did without President Trump’s support. Republicans would be wasting their time to push legislation that wouldn’t get signed upon passage. So President Trump’s support was critical in giving Speaker Ryan the confidence to move forward, he also set him up to fail.
If President Donald Trump is still sticking to his message of “Drain The Swamp”, then individuals such as Speaker Paul Ryan need to go. He is a part of the establishment that has not only controlled the Republican Party itself but all of Washington D.C. If he can’t be removed in an election, perhaps it would be easier in some more colorful and creative ways.
Did President Trump set Speaker Ryan up to fail with his Obamacare Lite support?