Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Trump's Advice is Sound

Hi again, friends!  I apologize for not posting in a while.  Being on vacation is hard work!

As you will have heard, the effort in the Senate to agree on a formula to repeal and replace Obamacare has failed, at least for now.  Recently, President Trump tweeted, and not for the first time, some sage advice: if you can't repeal and replace Obamacare simultaneously, then repeal it now, and replace it later.  Is this the perfect solution?  Perhaps not, but politically it offers some major advantages.

First, it's likely to work.  Republicans can all agree that Obamacare is bad and should be repealed.  So get on with it!  Decisions about what to replace it with can wait until later.  Let the repeal take effect years from now, if needed.

Second, the chief reason Democrats won't participate in repealing and replacing Obamacare is that they would prefer to keep it.  The second Obamacare is repealed, though, their calculus has to change.  They can participate in replacing it, or they can watch it disappear altogether.  Presumably, some Democrats will see the wisdom of being part of the conversation on replacing Obamacare, once replacement becomes an inevitability.  That way, at least they can get some of what they want, instead of none of it.

Last, the alternative to repealing now and replacing later, at this stage, is presumably embarrassment, failure, and self-flagellation for Republicans.  This is unacceptable.  Republicans were elected to lead the country.  They need to demonstrate a capacity to do so.  Weakness only begets weakness.  Thus, we have no choice but to repeal AND replace Obamacare, no matter how long it takes, and no matter the machinations that get us there.  The left has been quite effective in slowing down Republicans, and the Trump administration, with judicial chicanery, and with phony stories about Russia and personal attacks against everyone with the last name of Trump.  They want, no doubt, to get as many Republicans as possible "off the reservation," so that it is impossible for conservatives to govern.  We can't let them succeed!  Push on, I say.  Get it done.

For all these reasons, I support President Trump's call to repeal Obamacare NOW, and replace it later.  I hope you will too.

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