President Trump made a big mistake trusting the GOP on health care

In this March 1, 2017 file photo, President Donald Trump, flanked by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Ky., left, and House Speaker Paul Ryan of Wis., speaks during a meeting with House and Senate leadership, in the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington. For President Donald Trump and the Republican Party, it’s still complicated. That political reality has come into sharper focus in recent days as Republicans strain to pass high-stakes legislation revamping the nation’s health care law. While the president and the GOP are ostensibly on the same side _ each has promised to overhaul the current health care law, their tactics have at times been strikingly at odds. Photo: AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File.

In the end it was the GOP establishment that lost the battle to repeal Obamacare.

President Donald Trump is mad after watching the Senate Republicans fail to get enough votes to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ObamaCare), something the Republican party has promised their supporters for the past seven years. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky), failed to get just 50 votes to pass the most stripped down bill possible aimed at just moving the process to the next step.

Republican Senators John McCain of Arizona, Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska were the three votes who stopped the repealing of the ACA. It also marked the end of the 50 vote “Reconciliation Process,” as McCain, Collins, and Murkowski has made it clear that they want to return to “Regular Order,” where they want to open the process for a bi-partisan bill, that includes open hearings, medical expert testimony and the repairing of the law of the land the ACA.

There are now between eight and 12 members of the Senate who have no interest in moving through another health care through reconciliation. They are on the record as voting to repeal Obamacare and that is good enough for them.

Despite President Trump’s anger over the defeat of the repealing and replacement of Obamacare. It is time to move on because, the White House failed to turn McCain, Collins, and Murkowski, who clearly has no interest in repealing or replacing the ACA.

How did we get here?

Back in late February when the White House was planning what to do with the repealing and replacing of the ACA, President Trump was given bad advice on two key points that led to last Friday’s crushing defeat in the Senate.

Vice President Mike Pence, the former governor of Indiana, one of the most Conservative voices of the establishment Republicans and White House Chief of Staff Priebus convinced Trump, that they could get wins in the House and the Senate. The GOP establishment duo told the president that Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.) and Senate Majority Leader McConnell had solid plans in place to kill Obamacare, once and for all.

Speaker Ryan, a long time budget hawk, took a plan that he had proposed, added some things offered in a complimentary bill once offered by Georgia Congressman Tom Price, now the Secretary of Health and Human Services. Those two plans served as the ultra-conservative template that would end up being called American Health Care Act, which passed the House with just enough 218 votes, all Republicans, and that moved the bill on to the Senate.

The AHCA was not what candidate Trump campaigned on and it is why the president called the bill (once he read it) “mean.” Throughout the 2016 Presidential Campaign, candidate Trump, offered many things he wanted to see in a ObamaCare repeal and replacement bill looked nothing like the House bill.

Trump, was assured by Senate Majority Leader McConnell that there would be a more comprehensive bill.

McConnell, despite putting together a group of 13 Senators to craft the bill he ended up turning the task over to the Senate staff. The drama of keeping the bill away from other members of the Republican upper chamber, caused them to be skeptical and it ended up with McConnell, offering four different bills, all failing to get just 50 votes needed to pass something with “the Skinny Repeal,” was the final offering.

In the end, the Republican establishment that candidate Trump crushed during the campaign, all the way to the Republican National Convention last summer in Cleveland calling them weak found out Friday that he was right. The Party has never totally embraced the idea that Trump won the election.

Two weeks ago Republican Senator Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania was asked why after seven years of fighting to defeat ObamaCare, didn’t the GOP have a cohesive plan on health care. Toomey responded with a very telling and honest response “We never thought that Trump would win.”

Well, Trump did win and by trusting the GOP establishment to handle health care he saw firsthand why he was able to beat the 12 best candidates the party had to offer. Going forward look for Trump to pit the GOP establishment against the Democrats, because he is really an Independent and that is really got him elected.


Jim Williams is the Washington Bureau Chief, Digital Director as well as the Director of Special Projects for Genesis Communications. He is starting his third year as part of the team. This is Williams 40th year in the media business, and in that time he has served in a number of capacities. He is a seven time Emmy Award winning television producer, director, writer and executive. He has developed four regional sports networks, directed over 2,000 live sporting events including basketball, football, baseball hockey, soccer and even polo to name a few sports. Major events include three Olympic Games, two World Cups, two World Series, six NBA Playoffs, four Stanley Cup Playoffs, four NCAA Men’s National Basketball Championship Tournaments (March Madness), two Super Bowl and over a dozen college bowl games. On the entertainment side Williams was involved s and directed over 500 concerts for Showtime, Pay Per View and MTV Networks.