UPDATES: DON SURBER GETS IT RIGHT: PRESIDENT TRUMP NOW DE FACTO SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE President Trump killed Ryancare and Paul Ryan's career today making the president the de facto Speaker of the House. This is a good move for Republicans and the Republic.
MICHAEL WALSH @ PJMEDIA: PAUL RYAN TAKES THE BARZINI MEETING: Paul Ryan walked straight into the Barzini trap that president Trump set for him. By insisting that the voters desired "Repeal and Replace" when in fact all anybody wanted was "Repeal, full stop," Ryan's inner wonk superseded his duties as the speaker of the House to ensure the votes were there for the "Replace" part of the equation. That they weren't should be the end of his speakership.
FORGET THE CATASTROPHIZING...JUST GO BACK TO THE DRAWING BOARD AND WORK YOUR BUNS OFF TO REPEAL OBAMACARE BEFORE TRYING TO REPLACE IT. It probably should be done in a minimum of two separate bills. Or let Obamacare explode or implode. One way or another, Obamacare is going down.
This is clearly a win for the American people in the long run. Forget the nonsense that this is a blow to Trump and his deal-making. Trump knows a bad deal when he sees it. He hates to lose. It's a good thing because this bill was not worth saving.
Perhaps we'll go back to the drawing board and get the thing right next time.
Health Reform: President Trump's visit to Capitol Hill might have been enough to ensure that the House ObamaCare "repeal and replace" bill will get enough votes to pass. If it fails, it will be a disaster for Trump and the GOP. If it passes, it will hardly be a victory.
Trump met with House Republicans in a closed-door session to warn
them that failure to pass this bill is not an option. According to some
lawmakers, he told anyone thinking of voting no that "I'm going to come
after you, but I know I won't have to because I know you'll vote yes."
Nevertheless, some conservatives are still opposed to the bill, and
its fate remains uncertain. So the question remains: Is this high-wire
act worth it, given what's in the House bill?
As we noted in this space earlier, the original House plan was a
marginal improvement on ObamaCare in some parts, but kept the insurance
industry mandates and regulations that caused ObamaCare to fail in the
first place — minimum benefit rules and "guaranteed issue."
The GOP leadership has tweaked the bill since in an attempt to
assuage both moderates and conservatives, but left that core problem
For moderates, the revised bill sets aside money to increase
subsidies for those over age 50, who according to the Congressional
Budget Office would see their insurance costs climb under the Republican
plan compared with what they get today on ObamaCare.
To appease conservatives, the tweaks include changes to the Medicaid
reforms, such as the option for states to impose work requirements and
opt for block grant payments, and a ban on new states expanding Medicaid
under ObamaCare — which are worthwhile improvements. The revised bill
also accelerates the repeal of ObamaCare's many taxes, and lowers the
threshold for deducting medical expenses.
But even with these tweaks, the bill still drives the GOP further down the health reform road they had promised to get off.
What's been missing in this "replacement" plan all along is what
Republican health reformers had been promising to deliver since
President Obama signed the Affordable Care Act into law seven years ago:
reforms that got government out of the health care business as
much as possible and that removed regulations and mandates that impeded
market competition or distorted it and drove up prices.
Remember interstate insurance sales and expanding eligibility for
health savings accounts? Aside from an expansion in the amount of money
people can put into HSAs, those and other promised fixes are nowhere to
be found in this bill.
In other words, rather than focus on reforms that would let the
market work its magic to make insurance more affordable for everyone,
the revised GOP plan tries to boost subsidies so older workers can
better afford the overly expensive government-regulated product.
Does this get the health care system closer to where conservatives
want it to be? Not really. In fact, by ceding the ground on "guaranteed
issue," benefit mandates, and a penalty for not buying insurance, the
House plan leaves all the infrastructure in place that a future
Democratic Congress could use to reinstate, or go beyond, ObamaCare.
And this is before the replacement plan gets to the Senate, where it will certainly be watered down even more
It's almost enough to make one wonder what all the fuss is about. Why
go through all the political torment of repealing ObamaCare when the
replacement does so little to change the federal government's role in