While the opposition storm rages to no avail, President Donald Trump and the Republican Congressional leadership are successfully moving the repeal of Obamacare through the halls of Congress.
A new experience for much of the nation’s media as well as Washington lobbyists, whatever they say seems not to be affecting the course or timetable of this important legislation.
Despite daily press releases with doses of impending doom, there is steady progress on a bill that will affect one-sixth of the nation’s economy. As story after story appears foretelling how this group or that constituency will suffer catastrophic harm, the repeal bills have sailed through committees, usually on party line votes.
Within the beltway surrounding the nation’s capitol, opponent’s teeth are gnashing with frustration from their failure to pressure Republicans to change, modify, or delay this legislation.
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During the Congressional President’s Day vacation, Democrats and other opponents sent out legions of anti-repeal demonstrators to garner headlines to no avail. For the most part, Congressional Representatives and Senators ignored them. In fact, it is reported, one-on-one meetings with constituents seem to be telling them a different story. According to many polls, repeal is favored by a majority of Americans.
Even supporters of the bill admit some changes are necessary. The fact the current repeal bills include some facets of Obamacare’s elements, should be noted by opponents. Unfortunately, in today’s strident political climate they are buried under the onslaught of negative opposition.
Credit must go to Speaker Paul Ryan and Senate leaders who have used the bludgeon of the need to use the budget reconciliation as the route to repeal as the hammer keeping the bill on tract.
Clearly, Republican leaders have learned to tune out the cacophony of sounds from the media and pressure groups and focus on delivery on their campaign promises. Repeal of Obamacare was one of the major catalysts for many voters who supported the six year cycle leading up the Republicans taking control of all branches of government.
When Republicans took both branches of Congress in 2014, many of their supporters were disappointed action was not taken on many Obama era initiatives. One obstacle was the fact they did not have the votes to override a presidential veto. The second and perhaps more important, it took two years for the leadership to learn how to govern.
Even as he revels in being chief executive, it will take President Trump a few months to really learn the discipline and nuances of being the Leader of the Free World. But the congressional leadership despite their differences during the campaign and in the lead-up to his inauguration has helped make the efforts to repeal Obamacare effective.
Some thoughtful pundits told them to be patient.
Now, their wait may be rewarded.
Then too, the efforts of Vice President Mike Pence to bring the President and Congress together has worked well.
The last Presidential election was a watershed for America. Both victors and losers are just now coming to grips with the major fault lines exposed by the election. It will take several years and significant shifting of the data for the full impact of the election will be fully understood.
Because so many media executives and writers thought the election was a foregone conclusion, no qualified individual took on the task of reporting from inside the campaign as others have done in the past.
Surprisingly late, political writers are now gearing up now to write books about the 2016 election.
One clear result will be the dismantling of President Obama’s signature effort, the Accountable Care Act. Reportedly, he is doing much to prevent this from happening. But as one former president said, “Once you leave the Oval office, all there is left to do is play golf.”
For now, the ball is in President Trump’s hand and with the help of Congress, America can turn the page on an experiment which demonstrated how so many people could manage to get something so wrong.