Thursday, March 23, 2017

Here's my last-minute call...

...on the Republican health care bill: Paul Ryan will push it over the goal line either tonight or by tomorrow if necessary.

And here's my reasoning: both Ryan and President Trump are positively desperate to put up a "W" on the scoreboard. (Why else would they be pushing so hard for this piece of crap?) If they can't do this, it could very well be their Waterloo. (Where have I heard that before?)

Last I checked, the AHCA was polling at about 17 percent approval with only 41 percent among Republicans. No one -- left, right or center -- seems to like this thing. I seriously wonder, if the circumstances were different, if even Paul Ryan would vote for it. (And don't even get me started as to how far this bill is from what Trump talked about during the campaign. Sheesh.)

But, as I said, both the leaders of Congress and the White House will do whatever it takes to get this bill passed. Since its prospects in the Senate were never very good to begin with, Ryan will probably massage it in whatever way he needs to get it passed. Then he can say that he and his chamber did everything they could to "repeal and replace" Obamacare and if it doesn't pass in the Senate then it's not his fault. Also, I'm sure he's just dying to get it off his to-do list and send it over to the Senate so they can deal with the Donald.

As for the Senate, Jonathan Chait had a good piece yesterday in which he argued (my emphasis):

But McConnell isn’t a hopeless optimist. He’s the smartest political tactician of the modern era. The default assumption on any McConnell plan should be that it rationally pursues a coherent goal. In this case, McConnell has almost certainly sized up his caucus and grasped that Trumpcare stands no chance of resuscitation. A long bleed-out on health care will make Trump and his party even less popular, and chew up precious months during which the Republicans could instead be making use of their full control of government. The plan being pursued by McConnell is that of a man who wants to cut his losses fast.

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