The Republican Party’s seven-year effort to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act just died a humiliating death before it even reached the floor of the House. “Obamacare is now the law of the land” admitted House Speaker Paul Ryan a few moments ago.
It’s an astonishing turn of events and it’s hard to see how the rollout of this bill could have been handled worse.
Legendary journalist Dan Rather just took to Facebook to share his thoughts on the Republican Party’s colossal defeat at the hands of their own extremism:
Stunning. A complete defeat that I don’t think anyone would have predicted in the manner that took place. Donald Trump promised to repeal and replace Obamacare on day one of his presidency. He promised a health care nirvana of lower premiums, choice and better care. The GOP have been demonizing the Affordable Care Act for 7 years and yet here we are. The Affordable Care Act remains the law of the land. Who knew healthcare was hard?
The morass of blame is only beginning. As he just told New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman, this is “the Democrats fault.” We’ll see how that plays with the public and with history. Mr. Trump is wounded and he will try to do his usual two step of taking credit for everything and blame for nothing. It is a dance that I think was already old for a majority of Americans. And if recent polls are to be believed even some of his voters are getting weary. And let’s remember we are just over two months into his presidency.
I have never seen such a staggering loss so early in a term. We have long left charted waters with this administration. And our ship of state bobs amidst ominous waves.
The damage isn’t limited to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Many Democrats never understood Paul Ryan’s golden boy wonk status. But that aura has also been deeply and perhaps irrevocably tarnished by this health care failure. And the difficulty was expected to be in the Senate.
Meanwhile, the Russian shadow continues to darken.
President Obama worked for 13 months to hammer out the terms of the Affordable Care Act. Paul Ryan and his cronies in the health insurance industry crafted the Trumpcare bill on the back of a proverbial cocktail napkin while President Trump went golfing and played with trucks.
Their incompetence has been fully exposed for the whole nation to see, and will soon learn that the “blame the Democrats!” game they’ve played for the past seven years isn’t going to work anymore. The importance of this defeat cannot be overstated. Trump may have just hamstrung the rest of his hopefully short presidency.
Colin Taylor is the editor-in-chief of Occupy Democrats. He graduated from Bennington College with a Bachelor's degree in history and political science. He now focuses on advancing the cause of social justice and equality in America.