What have we learned from the failure of the AHCA, the GOP’s attempt to supposedly “repeal and replace” Obama’s ACA?
The most obvious takeaway is that Trump doesn’t care about his campaign promises. He promised something better than Obamacare, but instead supported a bill that would result in fewer Americans having healthcare and higher costs for those who did have it under the ACA.
We learned that Paul Ryan is not a serious policy wonk who can create acceptable policy; he cobbled together a bill so wretched that he couldn’t even bring it to a vote, for fear of an even greater humiliation than he did endure.
We learned that, in fact, most people do want Obamacare, which is why so many congressional Republicans opposed the so-called “repeal and replace” bill they were offered by Ryan. That’s not to say Americans don’t see problems with the the current law, but they want it improved, not destroyed. Everyone saw that Ryan’s bill was no improvement.
We learned that Republicans are good at getting elected, but very, very bad at governing. Trump showed little sign of knowing what was in the bill. Ryan seemed to have no idea what his own party members would accept. The Republican Congress as a whole – which was great at stopping Obama – can’t agree among themselves how to actually replace something they spent 7 years trying to destroy.
Finally, we saw that the GOP leadership was willing to sell out Americans – 24 to 56 million Americans – to give tax breaks to the wealthy. Remember that as you watch the coming debate on tax reform – or should I say “tax reform.”