Catching Up on Politics & Health Care


It’s been really hard to comment on the Trump administration. Whatever you thought Trump stood for yesterday is the opposite today.  Put a thought on paper about a Trump policy, turn on the TV and  find he’s now 180 degrees from where he was when you started writing. Not that we find this surprising. We warned everyone last November in our Election Recap post, if Trump adopted  the Republican establishment program he ran the risk of losing his clout.  His first act, the Travel Ban, was a disaster but at least kept faith with his most ardent followers.  However, health care was another thing entirely. Trump had promised “Repeal & Replace” Obama’s Affordable Care Act (ACA) and then outsourced the legislation to Paul Ryan and the Republican House leadership.  Six years in the making and their bill was so poorly conceived it garnered only 17% approval. Trump not only wasn’t aware of  the legislation’s multitude of failings but ordered his chief strategist, Steve Bannon, to demand the most conservative members of Congress, the Freedom Caucus, to fall in line and support the bill or else.  The Caucus at least realized the bill as written was unacceptable to everybody.  In fact, the Bill’s only saving grace for Republicans was it cut Medicaid enough to facilitate their Tax Cut Bill.  The Trump pressure expressed through Bannon,was horribly misplaced.  The only special power Trump has over some Republicans is the threat to primary opponents. This can only be done by running candidate further to the right against the offending incumbent. How do you get to the right of the freedom caucus?  With no running room on the right, the Administration could only belatedly give ground to the Freedom Caucus, but this lost moderate votes.  By not knowing where his power emanated from and how to use it, Trump saw the bill pulled with egg on everyone’s face. Bannon was blamed and now the Troika of Ivanka Trump, Jared Kushner and Gary Cohn appear to giving direction to the administration. All three are Democrats.

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