President Trump and Speaker Ryan unveiled the latest “revisions” to Trumpcare, and the result is still the same. Trumpcare is still worse than Obamacare.
Instead of addressing the glaring problems of the warmed-over Obamacare replacement that is the Republican health care proposal, the latest (said to be final) changes to the bill do nothing to address the issues conservatives have with the bill. There were some nibbles around the edges, but the bill still maintains all of Obamacare’s regulations, and it still accelerates the “death spiral” that will lead to insolvency for health insurance providers. I provide more details in my previous posts on the subject here and here.
The President has been busy trying to get this plan passed, including meeting with wavering lawmakers and holding rallies to try and gain support for the bill. Not one to shy away from strong-arming conservatives, Trump stopped by Capitol Hill on Tuesday and gave Republicans a very blunt message: Vote for Trumpcare or risk losing your seat in 2018.
This truly is a terrible bill. If Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama were pushing this bill there is no question Republicans would vote against it, but since it is being pushed by a Republican President, our side is split on what to do. Many conservatives are demanding a full repeal while some moderates are looking to spend even more on Medicaid expansion and government giveaways. Some Republicans are supporting the bill because they want to support the president while the most die-hard Trump supporters are more concerned with trying to keep people from connecting Trump’s name to Trumpcare.
The House Freedom Caucus is demanding a full repeal of Obamacare, but because we have a Republican president they are not formally opposing the bill. This is giving Trump and the establishment the cover they need to pressure HFC members into voting for Trumpcare, which means it just might pass, giving Republicans ownership of the health care hot mess and letting Democrats off the hook.
When looking at how this Trumpcare situation is being handled, a major concern conservatives should have is whether this is how things are going to go for future issues? Contrary to the statements and desires of many on our side, Donald Trump is not a conservative. He has held liberal beliefs all his life and helped fund establishment Republicans in the past. Trumpcare maintains the desires of the establishment and is getting mainly establishment support. If Trumpcare passes, there is no telling just how many other issues conservatives will get steamrolled on.
- Trump’s budget does not touch entitlements and does not cut spending at all. It merely shifts spending to the military at the expense of massive cuts in other agencies that will never be allowed to stand. As an opening salvo for someone who is supposed to be a master negotiator, it is a pretty poor one. When all is said and done, the real budget that comes up for a vote will include Trump’s desire to expand military spending with funding mostly restored to other agencies, meaning higher debt, a bigger deficit, and conservatives pressured into voting for it.
- Then there’s Trump’s massive, trillion dollar, Democrat-style stimulus package. One of the first things Democrat presidents do when they are elected is to pass a massive, pork laden stimulus package that is used to pay back all their supporters. So why is the very same type of bill being proposed by a Republican president? How conservative is it to immediately add another TRILLION dollars to the national debt?
- What about immigration? Trump is still keeping Obama’s illegal executive amnesty in place, and has even said that he could support a reform bill that provides legalization for illegal immigrants and citizenship for the so-called Dreamers. Could conservatives be pressured into voting for a “Gang of 8” style amnesty bill or else have President Trump supporting an establishment challenger in a 2018 primary?
I know this is not the message many on our side want to hear, but it is a message that needs to get out there. We are in very real danger at getting rolled over by our own side on every issue we hold dear. From healthcare to immigration to taxes and spending, the establishment is in charge and they are running the show. Trump is not fighting against the establishment. He is fighting WITH the establishment and threatening conservatives with primaries if they don’t go along with him. Trumpcare is just the first salvo. If they can get conservatives to betray the promise they made to us on an issue as important as this, they will be able to roll over us on every other issue they want. If, on the other hand, Trumpcare is defeated and we hold firm on our demand for a full repeal, we have a chance to control the debate and bring Trump into a more conservative approach if he wants to start “winning so much he’ll be tired of winning.”
None of this is going to happen on its own, though. If you want real conservative reform to happen you need to make sure your voice is heard. Don’t sit back and assume things will work out just because Republicans are in control. This is when the establishment is at its most dangerous.
It is easy for Republicans to stand up to liberal policies when they are proposed by a Democrat.
It is much harder when they are proposed by your own party.