President Donald Trump and his administration may not have reached out to Democrats and asked for their input on their disastrous American Health Care Act, but it is no secret that following their humiliating failure on the House floor, at least the president now seems willing to work with the opposition.
“I know that we're all going to make a deal on health care, that's such an easy one,” Trump recently told a bipartisan group of senators.
The Republican plan to repeal and replace Obamacare was tumultuous from the get-go. The fact that the White House never reached out to House Democrats on the matter was equally worrying, considering Trumpcare would potentially cost millions of Americans their health insurance.
However, even though this epic defeat might have forced the commander-in-chief to rekindle his relationship with congressional Democrats, Paul Ryan is still not so keen on the idea.
The House speaker and the true architect of Trumpcare, who was also used as a scapegoat after the collapse of the bill, told CBS “This Morning” that he does not want the new administration to work with the members of opposition on new legislation for revamping the country’s health care system.
“I don’t want that to happen,” he said. “You know why? I want a patient-centered system. I don’t want government running health care. The government shouldn’t tell you what you must do with your life, with your health care. We should give people choices.”
His statement comes at a time when the failure of his controversial health insurance plan was already raising legitimate questions about his reputation as a policy expert. Moreover, not only are his comments in a direct contrast to President Trump’s recent statements, it is also a departure from standard bipartisan practice.
This is not how governments work – and Paul Ryan, of all people, should understand that better.
Meanwhile, the Democrats are not too excited to work with the GOP to dismantle their own legacy either.
“He moved so far over to the right that it’s virtually impossible to work with him,” Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer told Politico.
Schumer is certainly not the only high-ranking Democratic official to think along those lines.
“Any type of cooperation with Trump is looked upon as treason now,” said New York Rep. Peter King.
One of the main reasons Trumpcare failed was that it prompted people to attend town hall meetings in droves, demanding the GOP drop its efforts to take away their health care — and the Democrats very strategically aligned themselves with what is being called "the resistance."
The Republicans could only afford to lose 22 votes in the House if none of the Democrats voted for them. In the Senate, they only had a margin of three.
Not including Democrats in the process, once again, will likely not bode well for whatever health care plan the GOP next comes up with.
Banner and thumbnail credit: Reuters, Jason Reed