Nine questions about the GOP health care setback

The recent withdrawal of the Trump-Ryan plan is a setback but not a defeat, and certainly not a permanent setback.

To put us on the right track, we need to ask some tough questions across the political perspective.  The possible answers are in parentheses.

1. Can the GOP repeal Obamacare utterly and start over with a brand new plan and get 60 votes in the Senate?  (Not a chance.)

2. Similarly, is Obamacare too entrenched, given the fact that the Senate has only 52 Republicans?  (Yes, it is too entrenched, given that reality.)

3. Is Obamacare imploding for the 15-20 million recipients who are getting heavy government subsidies?  (No, it is not imploding for them.)

4. Can Republicans take away their coverage without significant political damage?  (No, they can't.)

5. Why haven't the Democrats come up with their own program?  (They did.  It's called Obamacare.)

6. Trump said he is willing to work with Democrats.  Will the Trump-Dem plan, if they go ahead with it, be worse or better than the Trump-Ryan plan?  (99% chance the Trump-Dem plan will be much, much worse.)

7. Will Democrats be willing to repeal Obamacare?  (Schumer said no, but he is willing to work with Trump within Obamacare.)

8. Thus, will the adjusted Obamacare remain the law of the land?  (Yes, and the Dems will shout it from the housetops in 2018 and 2020.  Victory and vindication!)

9. Since the Republicans, especially Trump, promised to "repeal and replace," will the Democrats use this broken promise in the 2018 and 2020 campaigns?  (Yes, and gleefully, too.)

Reality, as expressed in those nine questions and possible answers, says the GOP stands on the razor's edge.  Reality says that whatever plan the GOP comes up with in the next year or two, they need to unite and stop being petty.  By my way of thinking, Trump and Ryan understood this better than the Freedom Caucus did.

The best way to get things done is to realize that the Dems (and some in the GOP) have built up big government for decades, so it's best to advocate incremental change.  Even in 1996, Newt Gingrich and Bill Clinton signed the Welfare Reform Act, which gave people time to get off the welfare rolls and find jobs.  The act did not annihilate welfare, but reined it in.  Millions did exit the government program.

Incremental change is the only way, because people don't like sudden moves, especially when they're deprived of their government stuff.  When we reduce government over time, and people realize they can live without many agencies, then eventually we can reduce certain agencies next to zero or perhaps eliminate them altogether.  But this will take a long time.  It took a long time to build up government. It will take a long time to reduce it.

I have hope, but only if the GOP can unite.

James Arlandson's website is Live as Free People.

The recent withdrawal of the Trump-Ryan plan is a setback but not a defeat, and certainly not a permanent setback.

To put us on the right track, we need to ask some tough questions across the political perspective.  The possible answers are in parentheses.

1. Can the GOP repeal Obamacare utterly and start over with a brand new plan and get 60 votes in the Senate?  (Not a chance.)

2. Similarly, is Obamacare too entrenched, given the fact that the Senate has only 52 Republicans?  (Yes, it is too entrenched, given that reality.)

3. Is Obamacare imploding for the 15-20 million recipients who are getting heavy government subsidies?  (No, it is not imploding for them.)

4. Can Republicans take away their coverage without significant political damage?  (No, they can't.)

5. Why haven't the Democrats come up with their own program?  (They did.  It's called Obamacare.)

6. Trump said he is willing to work with Democrats.  Will the Trump-Dem plan, if they go ahead with it, be worse or better than the Trump-Ryan plan?  (99% chance the Trump-Dem plan will be much, much worse.)

7. Will Democrats be willing to repeal Obamacare?  (Schumer said no, but he is willing to work with Trump within Obamacare.)

8. Thus, will the adjusted Obamacare remain the law of the land?  (Yes, and the Dems will shout it from the housetops in 2018 and 2020.  Victory and vindication!)

9. Since the Republicans, especially Trump, promised to "repeal and replace," will the Democrats use this broken promise in the 2018 and 2020 campaigns?  (Yes, and gleefully, too.)

Reality, as expressed in those nine questions and possible answers, says the GOP stands on the razor's edge.  Reality says that whatever plan the GOP comes up with in the next year or two, they need to unite and stop being petty.  By my way of thinking, Trump and Ryan understood this better than the Freedom Caucus did.

The best way to get things done is to realize that the Dems (and some in the GOP) have built up big government for decades, so it's best to advocate incremental change.  Even in 1996, Newt Gingrich and Bill Clinton signed the Welfare Reform Act, which gave people time to get off the welfare rolls and find jobs.  The act did not annihilate welfare, but reined it in.  Millions did exit the government program.

Incremental change is the only way, because people don't like sudden moves, especially when they're deprived of their government stuff.  When we reduce government over time, and people realize they can live without many agencies, then eventually we can reduce certain agencies next to zero or perhaps eliminate them altogether.  But this will take a long time.  It took a long time to build up government. It will take a long time to reduce it.

I have hope, but only if the GOP can unite.

James Arlandson's website is Live as Free People.

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