Published March 24th, 2017
Today, in a somewhat surprising turn of events, the Trump administration and Paul Ryan are forced to pull their bill for healthcare reform from the House before it was able to be voted on. We say this is surprising simply because President Trump and his Administration, along with Republicans, are now faced with what are really two far worse alternatives. They can now watch as Obamacare continues on its current path, which almost no one really believes is a positive one, or they can begin the process to compromise with Democrats in the House, instead of within the Senate.
If we were callous enough to be placing bets on the most likely outcome, we’re going with the latter. No one is happy with limited choices, high deductibles, limited access to doctors and the host of other complaints that Americans have with their current coverage under the ACA. Let’s not forget that across both sides of the aisle, Democrats and Republicans seem to agree on at least one thing, that Obamacare needs major improvement.
In a news conference President Trump blamed Democrats for the failure of this bill to be passed in the House. It seems ridiculous to think that after making absurd concessions to the House Freedom Caucus, purely for the purpose of appeasing their ridiculous demands, that any Democrat would even consider for a second voting in favor of the bill. Democrats are just as concerned about preserving their image with their base voters as Republicans are. Even if Democrats know that once the Trumpcare bill reaches the Senate it will then be revised, because it has to be revised, no Democrat is actually going to sign off on it now in the House because of the political backlash they would receive. Furthermore, to do that would really reveal in a very public way, just how gross the process is by which legislation works and how absurd politics are. As the saying goes, no one wants to see how the sausage gets made, you just want to eat it.
Where Should The Blame Really Go?
Without question, every American who is tired of paying higher premiums, deductibles of $10,000 or more, tired of having limited choices, and is just generally dissatisfied with their healthcare options, should place the entire blame for Trumpcare not passing the House, on the House Freedom Caucus. Even President Trump eluded to shifting some of the blame towards the House Freedom Caucus in an interview, although his tone was fairly muted.
Now you might be wondering why exactly we’re calling the Freedom Caucus out for derailing healthcare reform. It’s really simple, and we have covered this before, but until this past Wednesday, when the Freedom Caucus was emboldened by a political action group backed with tens of millions of dollars, the majority of the House Freedom Caucus was set to vote the bill through, as were the rest of the Republicans. That’s when Americans For Prosperity announced that they would financially support any Republican who voted against the bill.
This was a devastating blow that did two things. First, it signaled to members of the House Freedom Caucus that they better get in line with the demands being made by Americans for Prosperity or that organization would be looking for new blood to shift their financial support to come the next election cycle in 2018.
The second thing it did was to force the House Freedom Caucus members to come up with a list of ridiculous demands to amend the bill. Demands so hurtful to all Americans, even those who get insurance through their employer, that once given enough time to be fully explained in the news cycle, Americans were so against the proposed bill that it made it impossible for any Democrat to go along with, or any moderate Republican for that matter.
Removing the Ten Essential Health Benefits from Trumpcare meant that pregnant women wouldn’t be guaranteed access to prenatal care or care after childbirth, or that there wouldn’t be support for opioid addiction – you know, that massive problem impacting millions of families in the country. In less than a week the House Freedom Caucus forced the Administration to distort the Trumpcare bill into something unrecognizable and politically cancerous. House Freedom Caucus members apparently care more about ensuring their seats than doing what is right for the American people.
Who Are The Men And Women In The House Freedom Caucus?
It’s a question that’s been trending heavily within the last 48 hours and for good reason. So first off, “gotcha”, there are no women in the House Freedom Caucus. Secondly, not dissimilar to organized crime rings that don’t officially put members’ names on a list for publication, there is no official list of House Freedom Caucus members. Some of them openly identify themselves as members and some don’t. They don’t have a website or some official fan club, and they don’t always openly identify themselves as members to the news media. Oh, but they do have a Facebook, and a Twitter!
All of the members are basically known to Washington insiders and according to reports, the news media can “un-officially” identify them by literally watching them walk into meeting rooms.
Here’s a link to the un-official list of current members. This list is believed to be accurate.
It is pretty ridiculous that a group of elected officials, who feel so empowered to have so much influence over legislation in this country, yet have only been elected by and actually represent such a small percentage of Americans, don’t all have the courage to face the American people and answer for their actions that affect all of us.
Instead, they chose to throw a wrench into the process by which our great country has been founded on.
In closing, don’t give up hope on healthcare reform that improves outcomes for all Americans. If there’s one thing that might quickly unite both Republicans and Democrats, it very well could be taking down the Freedom Caucus members and not allowing them to derail democracy any longer.