Reportedly, Trump will abandon healthcare reform if RyanCare does not pass in today’s vote. This serve to reinforce why, whether or not supporting it was reasonable before, RyanCare must not pass now.
If we cannot trust President Trump and congressional leadership to keep striving to repeal the signature disaster of the previous administration (a premier campaign promise of the President and probably 90% of our present Republican House/Senate members) just because this first vote fails, then we certainly cannot count on President Trump and Congress to make any of the necessary improvements to RyanCare if it should pass. They’re certainly not exhibiting the will to fully repeal now, and they’ll have far less of an incentive to if they can pretend that they already have with RyanCare, especially if the Freedom Caucus sacrifices their bargaining power by showing themselves weak in this hour.
If that’s an accurate evaluation, it gives us two options and, I predict, three potential scenarios.
Scenario 1: We call President Trump’s bluff and vote down RyanCare. It is a bluff, and negotiations continue. We get a better bill, probably a full repeal. We retain the trust of our base, improve the country, and earn reelection in 2018 and 2020.
Scenario 2: We call the bluff, and he wasn’t bluffing. Trump makes no effort to repeal ObamaCare, the impetus dies and we keep it through midterms. Trump and his allies acquire a share of the Democrat’s blame for problems with healthcare, the base is disillusioned, we lose one or both Houses of Congress in 2018, can’t repeal ObamaCare, and lose the presidency in 2020. Those who demanded a real repeal have a chance to rise from the ashes as the party’s standard-bearers and steer the country in the right direction if it lasts long enough.
Scenario 3: We cave to Trump, and get RyanCare. Trump and pretty much the entire party get even more of the blame for our healthcare system, as they’ve now designed it. The base is disillusioned and we brand ourselves as a diluted counterpart to the Democratic Party. We lose to the side with a semblance of conviction in 2018 and 2020, and have no clear path to regaining our lost credibility. Nobody who campaigns like Trump can persuade the people he’s the one who will really defy socialism.
This is a high stakes game with no safe bet. We are facing down an opponent that already has an advantage on us (ponder for a moment how the Freedom Caucus would be treated if they threatened to walk away for good on healthcare reform if their demands weren’t met by tomorrow). We have one option that sustains conservatism going forward. Call the bluff. Stand on principle.
Previously, he has served as Vermont State Director of Millennials for Ted Cruz, and campaigned for him in New Hampshire, Vermont, and Indiana.He also worked to elect Ken Cuccinelli (VA Governor-2013), Frank Guinta (NH U.S. Rep.-2014), and Bryce Reeves (VA State Senate-2015), as well as against the campaign of then-incumbent Senator Kay Hagan (D-NC).