Friday, January 13, 2017

When I heard Donald Trump...

...speaking about health care reform at his news conference this week I couldn't help thinking of something that the outgoing President Truman said about the incoming President Eisenhower:

He’ll sit here, and he’ll say, "Do this! Do that!" And nothing will happen. Poor Ike—it won’t be a bit like the Army. He’ll find it very frustrating.

Here's exactly what Trump said on Wednesday (my emphasis):

So the easiest thing would be to let it implode in ’17 and believe me, we’d get pretty much whatever we wanted, but it would take a long time. We’re going to be submitting, as soon as our secretary’s approved, almost simultaneously, shortly thereafter, a plan.

It’ll be repeal and replace. It will be essentially, simultaneously. It will be various segments, you understand, but will most likely be on the same day or the same week, but probably, the same day, could be the same hour.

So we’re gonna do repeal and replace, very complicated stuff. And we’re gonna get a health bill passed, we’re gonna get health care taken care of in this country. You have deductibles that are so high, that after people go broke paying their premiums which are going through the roof, the health care can’t even be used by them because their deductibles bills are so high.

Obamacare is the Democrats problem. We are gonna take the problem off the shelves for them. We’re doing them a tremendous service by doing it. We could sit back and let them hang with it. We are doing the Democrats a great service.

So as soon as our secretary is approved and gets into the office, we’ll be filing a plan. And it was actually, pretty accurately reported today, The New York Times. And the plan will be repeal and replace Obamacare.

We’re going to have a health care that is far less expensive and far better. 

And all I could think is that Trump will sit there in the Oval Office (or Trump Tower), and he’ll say, "Do this! Do that!" And nothing will happen. Poor Donald -- it won’t be a bit like his company. He’ll find it very frustrating.

I hate to be the bearer of bad news (actually I don't mind it a bit), but there are currently a grand total of 52 Republicans in the Senate and 241 in the House and every single one of them cares more about his or her career than they do about Donald Trump's presidency. (I would argue that they care more about their careers than they do about health care, but that's the subject of a different post.) Also, nearly every single one of them has their own ideas on how the GOP should proceed on health care, and every single one of them -- at least in the Senate -- thoroughly believes that he or she would make a much better president than Donald Trump. If he thinks for one second that health care reform -- or anything else, for that matter -- is going to operate on his schedule he may find himself as frustrated as Ike in Truman's daydream.

This won't be like the Trump Organization where the Donald says "Do this! Do that!" and stuff actually happens. I've been to the Trump Hotel in downtown Chicago and was very impressed. Everything there is of the highest quality. People don't say, "No problem" when you say "Thank you"; they say, "My pleasure." But the difference is, those people all work for Donald Trump; he signs their paychecks. United States Senators and Representatives work for themselves (or their constituents), not Donald Trump. They don't answer to him.

So Trump may find this "presidenting" stuff to be a little harder than it looks.

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