Obamascare (verb): To frighten a member of congress into voting “yes” by threatening them with the Affordable Care Act.
President Trump had a simple message for the GOP on Thursday night, in the hours after the vote on AHCA was delayed: Pass my bill, or GTFO.
(GTFO stands for Get The Full Obamacare.)
He’s offering the House two options, they can either vote today, Friday, and pass the American Health Care Act and send it to the Senate, or they can fail to pass it, and he will just leave Obamacare in place and move on.
“We’re going to repeal Obamacare. We are going to replace Obamacare with something so much better.” – Donald Trump during the 2016 campaign.
It’s a win for Trump either way. If they pass it, he can not only claim victory over congress, but that he forced them to live up to their promises of these 7 years past. After which, of course, the whole mess gets repeated in the Senate, where he has plenty of enemies to blame when it fails.
If they don’t pass it, he gets to move on to something else, blame the House conservatives forever, and he has Obamacare there to always bitch about. Since Trump doesn’t like conservatives, this seems like it’s tailor-made for him. But either way, he wins.
All of which may, at first, sound like a brilliant move by a skilled tactician. That is, until you remember who it is that loses: the American people.
Trump, Ryan, and pretty much every Republican in existence have spent months – nay, years – telling us how terrible Obamacare is, and how much it hurts America and the American family. Trump made it one of the features of his campaign, one of his core appeals to working class, tea party types. The government is taking your money, they are wasting it, they are controlling healthcare. I will fix it.
And now, having already failed to repeal Obamacare on his first day or in his first month, he’s going to give up and fail to do it at all? He’ll do that instead of negotiate? That, instead of deal-making from the “Art of the Deal” author? Instead of putting in the work, he’ll just stick Americans with the legislation he called “amazingly destructive.”
“We are going to make this country so great again. We are going to work so hard.” – Donald Trump during the 2016 campaign.
Trumpcare is his baby. He’s the President, and this was one of his campaign promises. A promise made before we knew there would be majorities in both houses. A promise made over and over.
Some say the threat is a good gamble. Force congress to act on their promise. Make them vote and move forward at last. But that leaves aside the fact that this bill isn’t what they promised. Yes, sure, after all this time, it should have been. They should have been prepared for the negotiations and have a real bill ready. They don’t, though, and there is no good in doing bad. Wrong is worse than nothing.
Besides, doing something works. Some parts of the bill are already better today than they were Monday. Just last night, they changed the Essential Health Benefits mandate. That process should continue because this is serious business. Don’t stop now, when it has destroyed deficit savings without changing the amount of people who will become uninsured. You want to keep the bad press and uninsured Americans and get barely half the cost savings? Why not fix it before you vote? Negotiating works. Do the work.
But no, the leadership and the White House want their participation trophy. They want it now. They don’t want members going home for the weekend and having time to think. Because they don’t want to fix it. They’ve made their concessions, and now they want credit and photo ops.
This immediate, world-ending, Obamascare deadline is because Trump is tired of looking bad. He’s the man behind Trumpcare, and every day people are trashing it. Even his stalwart, erstwhile campaign defenders.
So this is it. Hell or high premiums. Today the House will vote. And if they don’t give Trump what he wants, he’s going to punish the voters with more Obamacare.
That’s what you got when you voted, folks. He won. Now we’ll see who loses.