RyanFail: No Victory for Democrats

Now the fight begins in earnest.

The collapse of the House Republicans w(h)ealthcare bill on Friday was a debacle for Paul Ryan, the Republican leadership, and Trump.  Trump and others may try to blame the Democratic Party for the ‘failure’, but there is not truth in that.  Ryan et al went into this effort on February 16 with no expectation that they would ever have a single Democratic vote.  The Republican leadership made no effort whatsoever to involve House Democrats in any of their discussions.  Thus, the failure was entirely engineered by the Republican leadership.

But by the very same token, the failure is no victory for Democrats.  It wasn’t pushback from Democrats, it wasn’t the prospect of ‘no’ votes from House Democrats, it wasn’t even particularly the resounding ‘no’ from an energized Democratic base that led Ryan to pull the proposal.  It was mostly division and discord among House Republicans that led to the abrupt withdrawal of the legislation.

We need to remember this in days and weeks ahead.  The fight over affordable, accessible healthcare for all Americans is not over.  The current system needs to be improved, and we can expect fresh efforts to undermine what we do have.

Remember that on his very first day in office, Trump promulgated an Executive Order entitled Executive Order Minimizing the Economic Burden of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act Pending Repeal.

Pending repeal:  Trump has staked out that ground.

From the ACA’s signing through the end of President Obama’s second term, Congressional Republicans did everything they could to undermine the bill (defunding risk corridors, blocking Medicaid expansion, etc.). Now with Trump in the White House, the Republican leadership has yet more tools at its disposal to severely damage the protections of the Affordable Care Act.

With RyanFail, now the fight begins in earnest.

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About Doug Bennett

Doug Bennett is Emeritus President and Professor of Politics at Earlham College. He has a wife, Ellen, and two sons, Tommy (born 1984) and Robbie (born 2003).
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