Having been in Washington for nearly 20 years, watching the Republican healthcare debacle was not unexpected: Republican leadership in D.C. has perfected the fine art of snatching defeat from the jaws of victory whilst shooting itself in both feet.
A rare talent, but as we’ve seen demonstrated, it’s quite possible to pull off.
For seven long years, Republicans have promised to repeal and replace ObamaCare. In that time healthcare reform has been a central campaign issue, and the GOP was rewarded for it in 2010 and 2014, and even 2016, with some House seats. But suddenly these Republican and conservative leaders, who were as bold as lions when it didn’t count, have become timid lambs when given the chance to actually repeal disastrous ObamaCare.
While I certainly hope that with Mitch McConnell’s pivot to simply repeal ObamaCare might succeed, I’m in wait-and-see mode. Republicans have made strategic errors along the way.
In the last seven years, it seems that no one took the time to draft up what specific reforms the GOP could pass when repeal and replace would happen. The dozens of times the House passed repeal were nothing more than show, as it would never happen with Barack Obama in the White House.
Even after November’s election, leadership in the House and Senate didn’t hammer out what reform would look like, much less create a realistic timeline.
To add to the lack of foresight and ineptitude…