President Trump was “open” to the idea of a bipartisan ObamaCare stabilization bill but did not make any commitments during a meeting Wednesday with a group of House lawmakers, attendees said.
The bipartisan group of lawmakers, known as the Problem Solvers, pitched Trump on their plan to stabilize ObamaCare markets.
“He was clearly open to it, intrigued,” said Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-N.J.), a co-chair of the group.
Gottheimer said there was some discussion of the possibility that Democrats could call the bill a “fix” and Republicans could call it something else.
“I’ll call it a fix, others will call it what they want, but it matters less about what you call it than actually what it is,” Gottheimer said. “He was very intrigued by that.”
I’m not inclined to engage in a round of “I told you so” with this.
For one thing, it’s hard to know what to make of this. First of all, the only named source here is a Democrat, and the nature of what he is describing is vague.
And from what we know about Donald Trump, it doesn’t seem like much of a pivot. For one thing, he tends not to have terribly consistent messages about policy issues, and often puts himself on several sides of the same issue. In any event, he does not seem to have a deep-rooted philosophical opposition to using government to provide health care. He said during the campaign that he likes the ObamaCare mandate and that he wanted to use government to provide health care for all.
Yes, to the extent this story is accurate, it could be seen as a reversal of his oft-stated position that he was going to let ObamaCare implode. But that was a silly thing to say anyway. Republicans are in charge. They don’t get to let things implode and blame others for it.
What this highlights, more than anything, is the GOP’s failure to pass a genuine ObamaCare repeal. Trump would have signed one. To the extent that we’re now talking about a “fix” rather than repeal, the responsibiity for that lies on the shoulders of turncoats like McCain, Murkowski, Alexander, Heller, Capito, and Portman. (For an explanation as to why I am naming those names, see here.)
I’m sure many will seize upon this story as evidence that Trump is pivoting towards greater cooperation with Democrats. On a day when Trump is upsetting a lot of Trump supporters by confirming his support for a DACA deal that does not include funding for a wall, that interpretation would be a natural one to reach. But I think that interpretation would be a bit lazy and not entirely accurate. So I’m not going there.
P.S. I should add that I’m also not inclined in engage in a round of “I told you so” with respect to the DACA deal with Democrats. I have said that a legislative fix for the DREAMers issue may be appropriate, but creates a potential problem of unintended consequences. Still, a legislative fix is better than the unconstitutional diktat put out by President Obama. As for the lack of wall funding, I never took Trump that seriously about the wall or anything else. It’s not as though the immigration situation would be better under Hillary Clinton, for goodness’s sake. And illegal border crossings have been down — something that probably would not have happened under Hillary.
I just don’t see this as the event that will cause me to jump up on the table and call everyone who supported Trump a sucker. Frankly, I’m not sure any event would. I don’t see most Trump voters as suckers. I see them as people who selected the lesser of two evils.
Sure, there are some over-the-top abrasive types who loudly invested themselves in Trump and obnoxiously denounced anyone who wasn’t aboard the Trump train. I admit to being amused by the tears of some of those people — and the attempts by others to pretend that they never became that invested in him. To the extent my friends are calling some Trump supporters suckers, I suspect this is the type they’re talking about. The #MAGA “everyone who criticizes Trump is a wussy wimpy wussy wuss!” type of cheerleader. Those people know who they are, and today they are a little embarrassed.
But most Trump supporters are just good people who are used to being disappointed by government. They’re trying to do the best they can. If they’re disappointed yet again, they can handle it. I suspect that describes most of you.