Tuesday, March 28, 2017

The Republican health care debacle

We used our editorial page today to revisit what can only be described as a cold slap in the face to President Donald Trump, House Speaker Paul Ryan and the rest of the Republican Party.

For seven years they ranted and passed ceremonial bills in Washington vowing to overturn the signature piece of legislation of President Obama, the Affordable Care Act. They did so knowing full well that it was little more than a ceremonial act. They knew it meant nothing because standing in the doorway to overturning the act was none other than President Obama with his veto pen.

During the campaign, Trump and Republicans again vowed that overturning Obamacare was Job 1.

Turns out it was Job None. Despite having seven years to be ready, instead Republicans had no semblance of a plan.

Repeal and replace turned into a madcap dash to repeal and come up with something that could be labeled a GOP plan.

It blew up in the Republicans' faces, who could not even get many of those in their own party to back it.

Threatened with an insurection from the right of their own party, zero support from Democrats and a lot of moderate GOP members riding the fence, it was left to Ryan to deliver the bad news to his president.

They didn't have the votes. In an attempt to ward off an ignominious defeat in their first major test under his leadership, Trump reluctantly pulled the bill.

Caught in the middle of all this was Delaware County state Rep. Pat Meehan, R-7, of Chadds Ford.

Meehan was one of those voicing concern about the Republican plan. He started talking about "rescue and repair" instead of repeal and replace.

Meehan said he was still undecided just hours until the scheduled vote.

It was the smart political thing to do, but it might not sit well with his constituents, who held weekly rallies outside is Springfield office.

They are not likely to forget that he pushed this version forward with his vote to move it out of the House Ways and Means Committee.. Only after Trump pulled the bill Friday did Meehan note that he would have opposed this version.

The Republicans created this mess; now they need to fix it.

Only problem is Trump doesn't sound like he's particularly interested in revisiting the measure. That's just more partisan politics, counting wins and losses, the usual Washington game. With something as important as health care, that's just not good enough.

You can read our editorial here.

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