Friday, March 24, 2017

Trumpcare thwarted; AAPI leaders credit resistance; Obamacare remains in place

Fox News
Donald Trump and Rep. Paul Ryan appear chagrined in the failure of the American Health Care Act.
TRUMPCARE, the American Health Care Act authored by Speaker of the House Paul Ryan and strongly supported by the Trump White House, was pulled from a House vote this afternoon (12:40 p.m., PST), according to CNN.

After a hastily called meeting between Donald Trump and Ryan, during which Ryan let the Chief Executive know he didn't have enough GOP support to pass the act, it was decided to pull the bill that would have repealed and replace Obamacare.

What killed the AHCA was not the Democrats, who are in the minority in the House, but the infighting in Trump's own party. Ryan and Trump could not negotiate the balancing act of appeasing the so-called Freedom Caucus, formerly the Tea Party, wanted to take away more of what they considered "entitlements" from Obamacare (such as mental health and maternity care); and as the entitlements were taken away, moderate Republicans rebelled because they couldn't support a bill that would take away health care from their constituents.

“If this bill comes to the House floor again, we will organize and defeat it," said Rep. Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash. "We know when we organize, we win. We cannot be complacent. This is just another fight in a series of battles. But today, we can say that we protected care for tens of millions of Americans across the country.”


The  Affordable Care Act  known as Obamacare, one of President Obama's prime accomplishments during his eight years in office, will remain in place providing healthcare for millions of Americans. 

While the Democrats celebrated, there was concern that the hard work of fixing the Affordable Care Act will likely be opposed by the White House and the GOP majority. According to his book The Art of the Deal, Trump's philosophy when he feels attacked, is to strike back 10 times harder. 

“I’ve been saying for the last year and a half that the best thing we can do politically speaking is let Obamacare explode,” said Trump at a press conference after the AHCA was pulled. Would
 he  place his personal need for revenge above doing what's necessary to make Obamacare work for millions of Americans?

Even President Obama acknowledged that his signature legislation would need some tinkering. "Just because a lot of the Republican criticism has proven to be false doesn't mean that there aren't legitimate concerns," said Obama in October 2016.

Millions of people are unhappy with their coverage under Obamacare, and in some states, newly regulated insurance markets have struggled ― with premiums rising for a few and insurers, stung by financial losses, pulling up stakes. And there are still a number of states - mostly those with GOP governors - where the ACA never was allowed to take root preferring to allow their own constituents remain uninsured.

"Now is the time for Democrats and Republicans to come together, because the job isn’t over until every American has affordable and accessible healthcare," said Rep. Ami Bera, D-Calif. "Real lives are at stake here and I’m ready to get to work." Bera is one of two medical doctors in the House of Representatives.

An energized citizenry

Spurred by a bad measure that would have repealed the ACA and leave 24 million Americans uninsured, voters were inspired by the anti-Trump movement by contacting their congressional representatives.

“Today, Congressional leadership did not bring the repeal bill for a vote. This is a testament to the power of collective community action around the nation, as the very people who would be impacted by Congress’ actions have spoken up loud and clear: protect our care,” said Kathy Ko Chin, president and CEO of the Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum.