Sunday, March 26, 2017

A Republican failure. A people's victory. Grassroots resistance energizes the next healthcare fight.

WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 24:  U.S. Speaker of the House Paul Ryan delivers remarks at a press conference at the U.S. Capitol after President Trump's healthcare bill was pulled from the floor of the House of Representatives March 24, 2017 in Washington, DC. In a big setback to the agenda of President Donald Trump and the Speaker, Ryan cancelled a vote for the American Health Care Act, the GOP plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, also called 'Obamacare.' (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
So sad he didn't get to yank away health insurance coverage for 24 million Americans.  Poor baby.
To nationwide cheers, Trumpcare went down in flames Friday. It was a spectacular failure on the part of a pr*sident who had vowed from the beginning to the end of his campaign that he really is the brilliant guy depicted in his ghost-written The Art of the Deal and would quickly repeal and replace Obamacare. 

So used to snapping his fingers and having his commands carried out instantly. Not this time. Let that be an omen of what is to come.

The failure had many parents. A fractious Republican Party led by incompetents who could not wrangle their ultra-extremist wing into line. Members of the Freedom Caucus didn’t vote against the repeal-and-replace legislation because it was not good enough. They voted against it because it wasn’t bad enough.

Then there was the lunatic confidence of the leadership that the rotten replacement legislation designed to rip health care coverage away from 24 million Americans and give the 1% yet another giant tax break would sail though Congress with barely a murmur.

By Friday’s end, Donald Trump had shown himself to be master of The Art of the Squeal as he blamed the Democrats for the failure that humiliated and wounded him and Speaker Paul Ryan. “They 100 percent own it,” the pr*sident said. That generated some guffaws. 

Democrats, however, do deserve some “blame.” Not a single one of them supported the repeal-and-replace bill. They did not join the “third way” NoLabels crowd and try to compromise with Trumpcare supporters by adding, as one wag on Twitter put it, a “slice of cheese to a shit sandwich.” So hurrahs to them.

In late December, Sen. Chuck Schumer, Sen. Bernie Sanders, and Rep. Nancy Pelosi had launched “Our First Stand: Save Health Care,” a campaign to keep Obamacare intact that included dozens of January rallies across the nation. 

But it was the huge range of grassroots actions that did the heavy lifting.

This included action like that of The Save My Care effort. Its participants went to 53 cities in 23 states to stir opposition by giving citizens a chance to speak publicly about why health care matters to them.

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