by Jim Smoger
News editor Wheaten Gazette
Democrats and moderates who support the Affordable Care Act (ACA) are gloating over the failure of Republicans in the U.S. Senate to bring a bill to repeal and replace the legislation up for a vote.
They are gloating even more over the inability of President Donald Trump to articulate a policy position about health insurance beyond the slogans heard during his successful campaign last year.
But Democrats shouldn’t get too comfortable with watching the GOP and the president bumble around.
First, Republicans might find it easier to find the votes for outright replacement rather than the proposal to repeal and replace the ACA. Most Republicans in the House and the Senate are fine with repealing the law right away, and then taking their time to craft a replacement, if at all.
Second, Trump in frustration has indicated that he is willing to watch Obamacare fail. While this is irresponsible for sitting executive, it is in Trump’s character.
Trump’s experience in civic engagement comes from being property developer, not a humanitarian or even as a legislator. He is used to letting projects collapse when people don’t do what he wants.
Trump’s history is to wear opponents down and then come in to rescue the development from the ground up. That is a pattern he has practiced many times in the past when constructing skyscrapers, hotels and golf courses.
The problem with the approach is that people will get hurt by allowing an important government program to fall apart. Democrats, however, don’t have the votes in Congress to stop it from happening.