Worth watching the whole clip below just to see how many times he circles back to the idea of a bipartisan health-care deal with Democrats. He told WaPo the same thing in an interview this afternoon: “As you know, I’ve been saying for years that the best thing is to let Obamacare explode and then go make a deal with the Democrats and have one unified deal. And they will come to us, we won’t have to come to them.” The 2019 public option is going to be really, really terrific, that I can tell you. So terrific you won’t believe how terrific!
I do think he’s stuck waiting until 2019 at the earliest, though — unless the worst fears about ObamaCare prove true and the exchanges begin melting down, at which point even Schumer and Pelosi might have to come aboard for a fix. If not, there’s no earthly way they’re going to cooperate with Trump and risk handing him a major legislative victory before the midterms, especially if it involves overhauling ObamaCare. Read this for more on that. Democrats are all-in on obstructionism. Frankly, if Trump’s serious about a bipartisan deal, the best thing that could happen to him might be Democrats taking back at least one house of Congress next year. Then, when fixes to O-Care simply can’t be postponed any longer, both parties will have no choice but to come to the table.
You’ll also find him doubling down here on the idea that today is a bad day for Democrats because their doomed adventure in health-care reform remains the law of the land, with all of the blowback that implies when the law inevitably implodes. I addressed that in the last post — it’s not quite inevitable, and even if it does implode, the GOP will now bear blame among voters for not being able to dodge the oncoming train despite having had total control of government. But don’t take my word for it. Does this Democrat sound like she’s having a bad day?
Today was a victory for all Americans. pic.twitter.com/LX6lzQXtBR
— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) March 24, 2017
There’s one other problem with Trump’s plan for bipartisan reform, apart from the obvious reality that any program that can attract Democratic votes will be far from the free-market solutions that the Freedom Caucus prefers. Namely, it’s been a long, long time since the Republican Party managed a major legislative victory on its own, without Democratic help. For voters who’ve invested again and again in the GOP, the rate of return is getting awfully paltry. “I’ve been in this job eight years, and I’m wracking my brain to think of one thing our party has done that’s been something positive, that’s been something other than stopping something else from happening,” said GOP Rep. Tom Rooney to the Atlantic. “We need to start having victories as a party. And if we can’t, then it’s hard to justify why we should be back here.” I’d add that it’s hard to justify why they should be back there after having used their one solid chance to repeal ObamaCare on such a dismal bill. But you take his point. When does a Republican-led government pay off?
Oh well. At least Trump was gracious here to Paul Ryan. By the way, according to Politico, he was more upset about the court rulings against his travel ban, Jeff Sessions’s recusal from the Russia probe, and, um, the media coverage of his inauguration crowds than he was about the bill’s failure today. Make of that what you will.