Trump is pushing Congress toward another dramatic showdown over the Affordable Care Act, despite big outstanding obstacles to a beleaguered revision plan and a high-stakes deadline next week to keep the government running."Big outstanding obstacles." Well, that's polite, lol! Those obstacles include the fact that the plan is garbage, there's likely no more support for this iteration than the last one which failed, and the ridiculously fast pace means that the people who would be voting on it don't even know how much the plan would cost or what its effects would be:
Several congressional GOP aides, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to talk openly about the ongoing negotiations, said they worry that the rushed process threatens to create another embarrassing public failure over health care. The schedule would also make it nearly impossible for lawmakers to finish their work in time for official scorekeepers to provide a clear estimate of how much the legislation would cost or how it would affect coverage numbers.It's not like slowing things down would translate into the Republicans devising a better plan. They've had seven years since the Affordable Care Act was passed, so another month (or two, or a hundred) wouldn't yield a better healthcare access policy from a party that regards healthcare access as a privilege. But it would at least provide the space for critical facts about that plan to be assessed, so legislators wouldn't be ludicrously asked to vote on a massive piece of legislation about which they don't even know the most fundamental details.
But Donald Trump, who, despite tweeting this morning that the first 100 days is a "ridiculous standard" by which to evaluate the success of a new presidency, desperately wants to be able to claim a major success within that timeframe.
The effort reflects Trump's sense of urgency to score a victory on Obamacare replacement and move on to other legislative objectives, notably tax restructuring. Passing an Affordable Care Act revision would also allow the president to show progress toward a major campaign promise as he completes his first 100 days in office.President Unity does not understand, or care, that this push will dramatically increase the likelihood of a government shutdown, which will be another colossal mess on his already splattered record of failure.
"The plan gets better and better and better, and it's gotten really good, and a lot of people are liking it a lot," Trump said at a news conference Thursday. "We have a good chance of getting it soon. I'd like to say next week, but we will get it."
Democrats have so far been willing to work with Republicans to avoid a government shutdown, but any effort to schedule a vote to repeal the Affordable Care Act could destroy those talks and threaten a government shutdown that Republicans have vowed to avoid.Trump's position: "I think we want to keep the government open, don't you agree? So I think we'll get both." He is living in a fantasy world.
"There isn't going to be a warm, fuzzy feeling," House Democratic Caucus Chairman Joseph Crowley (D-N.Y.) said of the impact a health-care repeal effort would have on spending talks.
Congress has five days next week to pass a spending bill, a tight timeline under the most generous of circumstance that would be nearly impossible to meet if House leaders also try to force a vote on the repeal legislation. Several Republican and Democratic aides said there is a chance that both parties could agree to pass a very short-lived spending bill — one that kept the government open one week, for instance — to give negotiators time to carefully complete a broader spending agreement. But Democrats are already warning that they could walk away if GOP leaders push for repeal.
"It doesn't really bode well in terms of negotiating with us that they're going to try to push off the vote on the [spending bill] to accommodate them on a bill we think is disastrous," Crowley said.
A dark, gruesome fantasy world in which healthcare access is not a right, and where presidents don't care about killing their citizens so long as it gets them a good headline.