A movement is afoot for Democrats to seize the day, to follow up the Republican defeat on Trumpcare with a single-payer health care bill.
The Democratic leadership in Congress should do exactly that.
The late Sen. George McGovern said such a bill could be written in a single sentence: "Henceforth, everyone in the United States is eligible for Medicare."
Of course the Republicans control both houses of Congress and have enough votes to defeat such a bill. It's doubtful if enough Republicans have been singed by the fight they just lost to cross over and support single payer.. Even if that miraculously happened, Donald of course would veto the legislation.
But if the Democrats really want to serve their constituency, which, remember, is larger by three million voters than Donald's, they should make the most of this opportunity.
Donald's code after his defeat is easy enough to crack. He said the Republicans should wait for the Affordable Care Act to "explode" and then act to create a "really great" health care plan. After seven years of failure, there is no reason to think that they're capable of doing so. But what Donald was saying is that Secretary Tom Price will devote the entire resources of his Department of Health and Human Services to sabotaging the ACA in every way it legally can -- as well, probably, as a few ways that are not legal. Donald will contribute nefarious executive orders to help with the sabotage.
The ACA is far from perfect. In fact, it is loaded with flaws. These will make it even easier for the Trump/Ryan sabotage of the ACA to succeed.
It would be well for the American people to have a clear record of the Trump Republicans having rejected a real solution -- Medicare for all -- before their sabotage succeeds in destroying affordable health care for millions of Americans.
If a vigilant press catches and exposes some of the dirty tricks, and the Democrats try to get single payer now, but are thwarted by the Trumpistas, there will be a genuine opportunity for a change of power in Congress in the 2018 mid-term elections.
And that would be at least a start toward heading off fascist despotism in this country.
Friday, March 24, 2017
The fat fraud who conned his way into the White House received a hard lesson today in how Washington, DC, works, and does not work.
Muscling congressmen, even of his own party, is a lot different than muscling the subcontractors, workers, lenders and TV whores he rolled over on his way to wealth and celebrity.
The House of Representatives said “No” to the deal he tried to fashion on a so-called health care bill. Even though Donald had demanded a vote today, Speaker Paul Ryan pulled the bill off the floor rather than calling a vote and suffering humiliating defeat.
The alleged president’s first reaction was to blame Democrats. Surely Alt-Pres. Bannon will come up with something better.
Meanwhile, the ruling party is in chaos. Hard-line right wingers in congress say the Ryan-Trump bill was too much like what they like to call Obamacare. Less extreme Republicans, sensitive to the health care needs of their constituents, realize that Trumpcare took away too many of the good things from Obamacare and offered nothing to replace them. Where can they go from here?
Republicans have had seven years to come up with a form of health care that can replace the Affordable Care Act without harming many millions of people. Even working with the self-styled great deal-maker himself, they were unable to accomplish that.
I remember being startled when an acquaintance, a practicing physician, told me he was going to vote for Trump. “Well,” he said, “I simply cannot stand the other candidate. And maybe the guy will do something. If he does ONE THING, it will be an improvement. And if that one thing is a better health care plan, it would really be great.”
Sorry, Doc. You wasted your vote.
Another friend, a retired physician, wondered about the effect on the 2018 congressional elections if Trump/Ryan succeeded in repealing the ACA. That was unlikely this time around. Even if there had been enough votes in the House to move the bill forward, it almost certainly would not have passed the Senate.
But that’s all irrelevant now. Trumpcare is dead and the so-called president has said he wants to move on to other issues. But, like everything he says, that may have been just blue smoke, a negotiating posture, an outright lie.
The next step remains to be seen.
Meanwhile, Donald had better find someone, anyone, willing to join his team who knows at least a little bit about how Washington works. Or doesn’t work.