Trump, His Base, and the New Healthcare Bill

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President Trump is facing his first and probably most important test of his leadership within the Republican Party as the House presents its final healthcare bill. One of his major campaign promises was to do away with the Affordable Care act, better known as Obamacare, and replace it with something much better.

To this point, the President has avoided blame for a healthcare bill that is deeply unpopular with his base while at the same time promoting it. How he accomplishes this from here on out without alienating his grassroots base of conservative supporters will prove his moniker as the great negotiator.

In spite of the fact that Representative Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) is unpopular with that conservative base, President Trump has not shown signs of weakening his support for the Ryan led House. In fact, White House press secretary, Sean Spincer is adamant that the current bill working its way through the House is Republicans only chance to repeal Obama’s signature bill.

“This is the only vehicle that seeks to achieve what people on our side of the aisle have been talking about since 2010,” said Spicer … “If we don’t get this through, the goal of repealing Obamacare and instituting a system that will be patient-centered is going to be unbelievably difficult.”

In spite of the ire of conservative Republicans, House Speaker Ryan said that House Republicans worked with President Donald Trump to write their version of a new healthcare bill. “This is something we wrote with President Trump. This is something we wrote with the Senate committees,” Ryan said on Fox Business.

Ryan and many of his fellow Republicans have shown no desire to make wholesale changes to Obamacare. “Obviously, the major components are staying intact because this is something we wrote with President Trump. This is something we wrote with the Senate committees,” Ryan said.

Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) says he just wants President Trump to keep his campaign promise. That means Americans need to see lower insurance premiums. “I think [Trump] understands if it was personality driven, most of the Freedom Caucus, a group of 40 conservative Republican representatives, would already be with him,” said Meadows. “Hopefully he knows that it has nothing to do with the respect or admiration that we have for the president as much as it is just real policy concerns.”

But Senator Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) said on ABC’s This Week, “I’m afraid that if they vote for this bill, they’re going to put the House majority at risk next year.” He warned the danger is that house Republicans will “walk the plank” and vote for a bill that cannot pass the Senate and then face the consequences of that vote.

Mark Meckler of Citizens for Self Governance believes the clock is ticking on President Trump’s support from his base. “I think he has some ‘honeymoon goodwill’ that is quickly evaporating,” said Meckler, the former co-founder of Tea Party Patriots. “If the grassroots don’t see some aggressive moves soon on his part to push for full repeal, the honeymoon will come to a very quick and harsh end. I’m already hearing the rumblings.”

Meckler was quick to add that Trump has the solid support of his base now. Citizens for Self Governance recent survey of 4,000 respondents showed 66% giving Trump an “A” for keeping his campaign promises but only 6% of GOP leaders with the same grade.

Trump met last week with leaders from several conservative grassroots groups, including FreedomWorks, Club for Growth, Americans for Prosperity, and Tea Party Patriots. The heads of those groups blamed Ryan and other GOP leaders for putting the President in a political bind.

Meckler said Trump has done well on the the military, regulations, and the courts. At the same time he said, “[Trump] doesn’t seem to be fighting for what he promised” on healthcare and tax reform.

“There was a phase when many were what I call ‘Trump Drunk,’” Meckler said. “If he doesn’t get it together on this, we may be moving into the hangover phase.”

“That’s not a critique of Trump,” he continued. “It’s just that he has Congress and the Courts to deal with. The remedy for the hangover is for Trump to fight for what he said he’d fight for. The grassroots will not blame him for losing those fights, with Congress or the courts. They will blame him if he doesn’t fight to keep his promises.”

As suspected from day one – the roadblock is all brands of the establishment.

~ American Liberty Report