Obamacare Fiasco Likely Means Trump Will Go Winless In His First Year In Office

After failing at least once in the House, depending on your definition of failure, the GOP's hopes of repealing and/or replacing Obamacare looks to also now be official dead in the Senate as well.  All of which officially proves that John Boehnor was spot on when he said back in February that Republican chatter of a full repeal and replace of Obamacare was nothing more than a bunch of "happy talk."

"So this is not all that hard to figure out.  Except this, in the 25 years I served in the United States Congress, Republicans never, ever, not one time agreed on what a healthcare proposal should look like.  Not once."


"And all this happy talk that went on in November and December and January about repeal, repeal, repeal...if you pass repeal without replace, you'll never pass replace because they will never agree on what the bill should be.  The perfect always becomes the enemy of the good."

Unfortunately, the Trump administration has wasted time engaging in that "happy talk" for 6 months now, thereby delaying other pieces of their legislative agenda in the process.  As Bloomberg points out today, this wasted time on Obamacare could leave Trump with no wins in his first year in the White House despite control of all three branches of government.

The first casualty of the Obamacare debate is time: six fruitless months exhausted on a subject Republican leaders had hoped to dispatch in January. And this was supposed to be the easy one. Since 2010, Republicans had promised a repeal. Trump and Republicans campaigned hard on the issue. Yet despite full control of Washington, they couldn’t get it done.


He won’t release the broad outlines of his tax overhaul plan until September. The last time Washington did a major tax bill, in 1986, it took more than a year to pass.  A $1 trillion infrastructure plan is little more than a talking point. Congress ignored his budget proposal. Republicans are as divided on all of these issues as they are on health care. Lawmakers haven’t even given him money to build his border wall.


And between now and the end of the year, Congress still has to approve more than $1 trillion in federal spending, pass a veterans health care bill and navigate a debt-ceiling fight to avoid a potential default, all in the space of about a dozen working weeks. It doesn’t leave much time for legislating, even for a Republican president who came into office with a package of promises and a Republican Senate and a Republican House to boot.


“Every Republican for the last seven years has campaigned on repealing Obamacare,” Republican Senator Ted Cruz of Texas said Tuesday. “I think the credibility of the conference is seriously undermined if we fail to deliver on that promise.”



McConnell isn't quite ready to quit pounding his chest on healthcare just yet as he still plans to hold a vote on a repeal bill early next week.  But, as we pointed out yesterday, a repeal only bill will go precisely no where which means a vote is simply a convenient method for Trump to officially identify which Republicans will have to answer for their decision to effectively support Obamacare when election season rolls around again. 

Of course, now that they're moving on to a tax overhaul, Republicans would like for you to believe that everything will be different this time...that the factions within the Republican party will somehow find a way to work together...that the "perfect won't become the enemy of the good"...

White House officials say they’ve learned lessons from the health-care experience, and they believe Republicans, desperate for a political win after the collapse of the Obamacare bill, can rally around a compromise tax plan.


Rather than letting the House and Senate draft their own versions of the bill, as the White House did with health care, the administration plans to release a unified framework for changes to the tax code -- with compromises on rates and loopholes already baked in and signed off by leaders in both chambers.


A small group of top Republican leaders -- McConnell; House Speaker Paul Ryan; Senator Orrin Hatch of Utah and Representative Kevin Brady of Texas, who chair the Senate and House tax-writing committees; Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and National Economic Council Director Gary Cohn -- are discussing high-level principles for an overhaul, according to one person familiar with the matter.


They aim to outline their principles by the end of the month, vet them with members of Congress in August and release a plan in September, the person said. Debate would extend through the fall.

...we'll let you be the judge but history and facts would seem to suggest an alternative, if less politically palatable, outcome.


BullyBearish jcaz Wed, 07/19/2017 - 10:55 Permalink

winning, winning, winning...there has been NOTHING but winning...but it's not for you and me, it's been for the FOZD...(friends of zionist donald)--more money for the mic--less responsibility for finance and mic (no more fiduciary, war crimes)--more power to the globalists Are you entertained?  Are you fooled?

In reply to by jcaz

auricle Bill of Rights Wed, 07/19/2017 - 12:55 Permalink

I don't blame the president because the CONgress can't get anything accomplished that is good for the people. It has been clear for decades now that WAR is our bread and butter. Congress voted enthusiastically and unanimously to spend $8T over the past 20 years to blow up the middle east, but squabble for years about investing anywhere in the homeland.   

In reply to by Bill of Rights

Bes PT Wed, 07/19/2017 - 10:52 Permalink

there have been tons of wins:1 the MIC is growing2 we have pledged our allegiance to israel3 saudi arabia is our bff4 goldman sachs is in control the whitehouse5 wall street is on a high6 the FED is intact and in controlit's only been 6 monthshahahahaha#winning #maga

In reply to by PT

FrozenGoodz (not verified) Bes Wed, 07/19/2017 - 11:27 Permalink

Lol a couple EPA cuts, renamed a courthouse in Tennessee, allowed the mentally disabled to acquire guns, and signed a buncha cute memos/suggestions which piggy-back off shit that was already gunna happen ... sans the 401(k), he's done nothing for middle class America ... get used to it

In reply to by Bes

HRClinton GooseShtepping Moron Wed, 07/19/2017 - 12:25 Permalink

IMO, it's a bigger blasphemy to compare him to the real JC: Julius Caesar. Caesar actually got things done. He won and kept winning. He fought with his men and sometimes led the battle with his famous red cape and sword. Caesar also put the entitled, pampered aristocratic pricks (aka Senators) in their place. That is why they ganged up and killed him: he was too good at looking after the nation's interests, not those of the decadent, perverse and corrupt Aristocrats.

In reply to by GooseShtepping Moron

FireBrander tmosley Wed, 07/19/2017 - 10:11 Permalink

When I go to Walmart, and do a "not white European" scan, I see more Asians and Blacks than Hispanics....a year ago, every trip to Walmart felt like a trip to Mexico...so I call that a win!I have nothing against Hispanics, and I'm not glad "Mexicans" have left...I'm thrilled that ILLEGAL....ILLEGAL...IMPORTANT FUCKING WORD....ILLEGAL Mexicans have left.

In reply to by tmosley

FireBrander FireBrander Wed, 07/19/2017 - 10:20 Permalink

The failure of this plan to "repeal and replace" is a HUGE WIN for the people!ObamaCare: Give money to people, so they can buy insurance that they otherwise couldn't afford."Repeal and Replace": Force people to pay the full price they can't afford...so they won't buy...then provide $200 BILLION for an "Insurance Stabilization" Fund to funnel money directy to the Health Industry. Net result is 10's of millions losing coverage while $200 BILLION MORE DOLLARS IS PUMPED INTO THE "HEALTH INDUSTRY".The Republican Plan should be branded the "Less for More" plan...less converage and higher prices for us; more FEDERALLY GUARANTEED revenue for the "Health Industry".FU Trump.

In reply to by FireBrander

LyLo historian40 Wed, 07/19/2017 - 11:10 Permalink

My area too. That said, in my area there are a couple of huge, well known companies with big facilities, and they were playing loosy-goosey with their hiring process (obvious to anyone that bothered to look: all of the interviewers had to be bilingual, and this ain't the Southwest).  A slight crackdown, and even a hint that ICE would show up at this place (again, we're talking big company, that is not Trump friendly) and of course they suddenly, in the middle of the summer when they never do any hiring, are doing an unprecedented hiring campaign. There are literally trucks driving down the road daily that carry nothing but advertisements for jobs at this place... And due to it being a pretty decent paying job, everybody else now is having to frantically hire replacement workers, and not with the stupid permanent corporate "now hiring, apply online!" signs of the passed decade, but real honest-to-goodness desperate hand written notes about open interviews multiple days a week.  Like fast food places are supposed to have when summer comes...I graduated high school in 2005, just as the real economy was starting to teeter badly, and moved to the Northwest, where it was already destroyed.  I can't tell you how fucking much this means to me.  If it continues, wages in my area are going to straight up explode (which they need to due to inflation).(Yeah, I know: "none of those darn Millenials on my lawn wanna work! they just wanna play Pokemanz!" sounded great and all, but maybe all that was just cover for shitty multinational corporations that wanted to hire illegals and not pay taxes but also feel no social repurcussions for their decisions that forced many in my generation on the dole: companies that just happen to own all 6 media companies and every research and polling organization in the US so they can parrot obvious bullshit like that so loudly that eventually people start repeating it, even if it means disparaging their own family and friends that they know are good people.)

In reply to by historian40

Jim in MN tmosley Wed, 07/19/2017 - 10:15 Permalink

Health care needs a compelling cost containment concept.Without cost containment, it's just Congress moving insurance subsidies around.  A loser's game.Without cost containment, the last chance at a market solution will collapse along with Obamacare. The inability of all players involved to focus on competitive market reforms is beyond mind-boggling.  It is a failure of democratic institutions of the highest order.  Even in the think tanks and academic research it is a huge gap.  Inexcusable.So here, again, is the ONLY thought-out cost containment proposal there is (believe me I have looked).  It is based on decades of experience with energy and financial market reform in other sectors and other countries.  We need this or something very similar.So come on, White House lurkers, Congressional lurkers, Conservative lurkers.  Steal this.  I fucking triple dog dare you.  You don't need to give credit and you don't need to be afraid.  NOTE for POTUS types: this would be even better as a Big Deal with the health providers (forget the insurers).  Take $100 billion from industry, reserve it in a fund, use it for immediate premium relief to US households, and then let the health providers show competitive bidding and arbitrage in order to get the funds back as profit/bonus payments.  Of course Congress can also use our money/debt for it.Here:
/* Style Definitions */
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mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt;
AMENDMENT LANGUAGE:   Joint Operations-Premium Yield Fund A Joint Operations-Premium Yield (JOPY) fund is established for each state that requests it.  The amount of the JOPY fund will be $350 for each person in the state. The JOPY fund will be available for two purposes: A.      To provide competitive incentives to health care providers serving the state. B.      To provide premium relief for households in the state. Competitive incentive payments:  The Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, or his designee, will establish a set of competitive performance indicators for health care providers focused on supplier bidding in purchasing and services.  Health care providers that petition for incentive payments and show progress toward competitive cost containment will be awarded incentive payments from the JOPY fund.  The amount of the incentive payments will be determined by the Secretary or his designee. Premium relief:  States establishing JOPY funds may utilize funds for premium relief for households in that state.  Premium relief funds will be made available to each household on an equal share basis.  States may use existing tax or other financial transaction systems to transfer and distribute premium relief payments to households.

In reply to by tmosley

GunnerySgtHartman Jim in MN Wed, 07/19/2017 - 10:26 Permalink

Health care needs a compelling cost containment concept.Yeah, it's called the free market, eliminating the insurance companies' anti-trust exemption, and putting consumers in control of health-care spending, rather than governments and hospitals and insurance companies.Novel concept, putting consumers in control ...

In reply to by Jim in MN

GunnerySgtHartman Dode415 Wed, 07/19/2017 - 11:04 Permalink

We already have taxpayer-funded systems in the US - they are called Medicare and Medicaid, and they are going bankrupt.Ask the parents of Charlie Gard how well "the best health service in the world" is doing for THEM.In the final equation, the only thing government-run health care gets you is government deciding if you live or die.  Do you want a court deciding if you live or die?  Talk about death panels. 

In reply to by Dode415

LyLo GunnerySgtHartman Wed, 07/19/2017 - 11:24 Permalink

I know an old disabled lady that is on Medicare.  She and her husband paid in to it for many, many years.  She has maybe three teeth left that match up, but can't really afford dentures: she's always had bad gums, even though she spent years and thousands trying to fix it.  Your teeth can be perfect, but if the stuff holding them in gives, it doesn't matter a lick.  I'm hoping that as my family starts to do better we're able to work something out, as that's the only option we have: Medicare does not give a penny for false teeth, regardless of need.  I guess she's supposed to sell off her few belongings or beg or something.I also know a young lady with a whole pack of crazy "disabled" children (maybe they really are, but it seems like she'd rather just give them pills than deal with actual discipline).   I'm pretty sure that she's the primary supplier of serious drugs to a very dear friend of mine that I expect to have to bury soon.  As far as I know, she's never been married or worked, but she has her own place with a teevee in every room.  Her children have nicer phones than my husband.  Her front teeth are trashed, which she admits is entirely a cosmetic issue.  She also admits it is because she did a bunch of meth and drinks strictly alcohol and Mountain Dew...  And she's getting her new teeth, completely free of charge, in two days.  Thanks Medicaid!So, as much as I like the idea of single-payer...   Goddamn, those little anecdotes fucking add up.

In reply to by GunnerySgtHartman

Malleus Maleficarum LyLo Wed, 07/19/2017 - 14:48 Permalink

The US is facing a serious dental health crisis that is only going to get worse as things deteriorate. When your teeth start going or are damaged, it can become a quite painful matter of life and death very quickly! Medical insurance certainly has some issues, but most dental insurance is largely worthless: high deductibles, low coverage cap, and a narrow list of providers. You basically get 1 or 2 "free" cleanings a year. Something goes wrong and it can easily cost tens of thousands of dollars. I know people in similar situations to those LyLo mentions. This may sound not-so-libertarian, and I'm no actuarial expert. I'm also sure as hell not advocating government-run health care (they need to stay far, far away from most everything!) but "our" government always has money to militarize the police, enforce dubious, selective Prohibitions and lock up the citizenry to be exploited for slave labor. They always have money to drop bombs and wage war, create "collateral damage" and new enemies, and to send literal Billions to Israel and Saudi Arabia. Meanwhile, the citizenry enjoys the "First-World Luxuries" of bad health and rotting teeth. Similarly, the roads and infrastructure are deteriorating at an alarming pace. It's beyond time to stop pouring our tax dollars into counterproductive exercises in futility and other black holes. Let's take care of Americans first, for once!

In reply to by LyLo

HRClinton GunnerySgtHartman Wed, 07/19/2017 - 12:55 Permalink

The whole Health Care debate has been on the wrong Narrative tracks from the outset. As intended by the Medical and Insurance cartels, who play footsie with Wall St.The focus should be on COST, not on Payment plans for an out of control profit system.RX? Try...- Prevention and fast, cheap Diagnostics.All tests in the US are outrageously overpriced. In Europe, many doctors and all small clinics have diagnostic tools on site: Heart tests during stationary bike ride, along with air consumption, ear flush, gastroscopy, ultrasound, high tech eye exams (cornea, lens, retina), Helicobacter Pylori test, VD tests and other tests involving microscopy...- Consumer Choice to negotiate prices with doctors directly, taking out the insurance cartel- limiting malpractice payouts and fees- making hospitals non-profit orgs, or with <5% profit to be used as reserves for a lean year.- standardize costs for medical services, with small market fluctuations - keep Wall St out of the Health Care business. Ditto for Education. - limit Extreme Care, that burns 80-90% of the patient's lifetime expenses in the last months or weeks of their lives. At some point, simply providing basic care and a DNR should be enough. Let Nature take its course. Or, if you're the religious type, look at it this way: they're moving on to Paradise. Why deny them that and let them suffer here in misery?  

In reply to by GunnerySgtHartman

new game Jim in MN Wed, 07/19/2017 - 10:39 Permalink

so, jim, you are advocating that gov.org fix what they created over the last 40 years?something tells me that you have this completly wrong.i advocate freedom to get healthcare based on my state of health, unencumbered by law, mainly pre existing condition.maybe two pools. market based(w/o 100,000 pages of existing law) for individuals with law mandating what the employer credit employees as benifit(cash) to buy health insurance on there own.second pool is a gov.org of fatties paying higher rates as they should. sound fair? your plan could be implemented and mine will be based on healthy people not subsidizing preexisting condition of ill health, mostly self inflicted.but first no mater what outcome, the payolla of campaign donatations has to be addressed

In reply to by Jim in MN

Jim in MN new game Wed, 07/19/2017 - 10:52 Permalink

Gov has to fix it, since they have the laws and prisons hanging over the system as it stands.I would love to see Brazilian and Chinese clinics in every strip mall.  That is competition.  Without bidding and arbitrage, you don't have that. Same for universities.Here is the longer form of the health care proposal.  I am dead serious about this.  It is a thicket of insane bullshit that is hurting people directly and wrecking the country over time.  20% of GDP and it's this fucked up? https://www.scribd.com/document/337189255/A-Deplorable-Proposal-on-Heal… am a practitioner of such market reforms, in other industries, and there are not that many ways to go about it.  My main idea is to take their money and not give it back until they get a lot more bidding and arbitrage into the supply chains. See, it's not really about insurance.  It's about supply chain logistics (including the human resources AKA doctors).  

In reply to by new game

GunnerySgtHartman Jim in MN Wed, 07/19/2017 - 11:14 Permalink

I would love to see Brazilian and Chinese clinics in every strip mall.  That is competition.  Without bidding and arbitrage, you don't have that. Same for universities.We can do a similar thing NOW without government intervention.  Doctors are now opening clinics that don't take insurance, and the prices are really cheap.https://www.theobjectivestandard.com/issues/2013-fall/dr-josh-umbehr-on-concierge-medicine-revolution/

In reply to by Jim in MN

GunnerySgtHartman ElTerco Wed, 07/19/2017 - 12:55 Permalink

Hmmmm. This won't cover specialist work, catastrophic events, medicine, or lab work costs. It better be damn cheap since the doctor's actual obligations are extremely minimal.It's not SUPPOSED to cover specialists or catastrophic events.  You buy major medical coverage for those events.As for medicine and lab work, Dr. Josh Umbehr, the doctor in the article I posted, takes care of all of that in his office.  He charges his patients a flat $50/month, which gets his patients all the visits they want.  He fills prescriptions in his office for 95% below retail price - no insurance needed.  Lab work is also available at a cheap price directly from his office.Like I said, get the government and insurance companies out of it, and you'd be surprised how cheap routine health care can be.

In reply to by ElTerco

toady tmosley Wed, 07/19/2017 - 10:40 Permalink

Exactly. Trump is doing well individually,  Congress is the entity being skunked. I'm surprised the author doesn't understand this, and I'm surprised the R's can"t get their shit together,  even when they have a majority. Too many closeted D's with R's next to their names. 

In reply to by tmosley

new game Looney Wed, 07/19/2017 - 10:18 Permalink

gov.org is in the throws of epic failure fascist failure. a minority represent their voters with intellectual honesty. this minority is the difference. it is the majority representing corporate interests (and received donations),that are the enemy of the majority of maericans. but we fight along party lines. simple shit maynard. thanks to rand paul and his group for stopping aca scam II. until there is a rise of a third party that represents middle america, a template of trumps talking points, we swirl the drain...

In reply to by Looney

Jim in MN nmewn Wed, 07/19/2017 - 10:20 Permalink

And the possible end to Middle Eastern wars....Crash in illegal border crossing....Revelation of the Deep State to millions more citizens......Raining on the 'sanctuary city' bullshit parade.....Tearing up cumbersome regulations.....Going after scrip fiend opiate docs....Telling China and North Korea to get their mutual shit together....Energy domination.....Gotta keep the pressure on though.

In reply to by nmewn