The American Health Care Act, better known by its nicknames (Obamacarelite, Trumpcare, Ryancare, Swampcare, etc.) has failed. Speaker Paul Ryan pulled it from the House floor to prevent it from being officially shot down in a vote. reportedly on orders from President Trump.
Many respected conservatives are cheering on social media and in television interview. I have one word for you: stop. This is nothing to cheer about. In fact, this is a very bad moment for the Republican Party, the conservative movement, and America itself.
In reverse order, let’s look at why:
- Bad for America: Obamacare still exists. While we can hope or even assume that it will collapse on its own, catastrophic fixes are rarely more beneficial than fixes that are made before collapse.
- Bad for the conservative movement: The House Freedom Caucus plus conservatives in Congress are already getting a bunch of the blame. This is happening even after the President blamed the Democrats.
- Bad for the Republican Party: This was their big promise to fulfill and as of now they’ve failed miserably. As Philip Klein said at DC Examiner, this is “the biggest broken promise in political history.”
All of those points are obvious. What may not be so obvious is that this is playing well into the long-term plan for President Trump. That’s not to say that he hoped this would happen, but it’s a temporary setback that puts him in the driver’s seat for an even worse situation in the next couple of years.
He predicted that when insurance premiums rise dramatically next year, Americans will be screaming for change. Now that they official “own” Obamacare, as the President put it, they will have to come to the table to secure a “better” piece of legislation. This bipartisan approach that the President envisions will only succeed if the core of Obamacare is maintained but more resources are diverted to protect it.
If we look at Trump’s history during the campaign and in the early days of his Presidency, he has never been opposed to government-funded and -controlled health care. If, for the sake of bipartisan repair to a collapsing system, the President is able to push through emergency legislation, there’s no way conservatives will be able to stop it.
In other words, this could turn out worse than Obamacare itself.
We desperately need conservatives and the Federalist Party to secure more seats in the very near future. At this point, the leftward lurch of the GOP is leading us down a path that will not be fiscally sustainable. We shouldn’t be cheering because we won this particular battle. We should be preparing for the bigger battle to come.