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Why did The American Health Care Plan Fail

Jack Fahey, Editor

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On March 23, 2010, Obama signed Obamacare into law, sparking fierce debate over what health care in the United States should be. It took President Obama over a year to pass his healthcare bill, as he aggressively promoted what he believed would be his legacy. “Obamacare” was met with resistance and criticism from Republicans, who found that it was one more example of government overreach. Republicans have been determined to repeal and replace the bill since the minute it was signed into law. It became a hot issue on the campaign trail during the election cycle, as Democrats pointed out its merits and Republicans ripped apart its flaws. “Repeal and replace” became a familiar rallying cry on the campaign trail for the Republican party. Candidates, including then candidate Trump, promised to make the law’s replacement a top priority.

When Republicans won the presidency with Trump’s victory, the responsibility of creating a replacement health care bill fell to Speaker of the House, Paul Ryan. Ryan had been blasting Obamacare for seven years and he and most other Republicans, had been fiercely advocating for its repeal and replacement. However passionate they were about “repeal,” the specifics of the “replacement” were sketchy. What should a replacement look like that is in line with the party’s philosophy of limited government, while at the same time not leaving the uninsured out in the cold? When details of the bill eventually emerged, many Republicans were less than pleased and did not support the replacement at all. Many felt strongly that the bill did not solve the problems that Obamacare posed and even resembled Obamacare and its flaws in many aspects. Needless to say, the bill did not have the support that it needed to pass and was ultimately pulled from the floor.

Since the Republicans held majorities in both the House and Senate, the expectation was that Trump would be able to pass a healthcare bill with ease. Not many anticipated how torn people are on the healthcare issue, or the many complicated moving parts involved in repealing and replacing what has already been in effect for several years. Anti-Trumpers happily added the failed Obamacare replacement bill to their anti-Trump criticism. But the reality is that Trump was counting on others like Ryan, who had supposedly spent years working on this, to come through..

It can be argued that part of Trump’s appeal as well as part of his downside, is that he relies on the knowledge, experience, and expertise of others. He has demonstrated confidence and loyal support for those key players in his administration who he is counting on to help further his agenda, which includes coming up with a new healthcare bill. From agenda items ranging from healthcare to tax reform to border security, hopefully, those key players will not continue to let the administration down.

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Why did The American Health Care Plan Fail