Don't blame Trump for Republican healthcare woes

The Republican effort to pass healthcare legislation is in trouble.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., having made changes to the initial Senate legislation in an attempt to woo holdouts, is still scrambling for support ahead of an expected vote this month. Even if he manages to pass something, senators will have to run for re-election defending a bill that is widely unpopular, and that is unlikely to win over the public as its patchwork of policies start getting implemented.

Given the problems, it would be easy to point the finger at President Trump, who after all, is the chief executive. He stormed into Washington on a promise to fix the healthcare mess and deliver a beautiful piece of legislation as only an expert deal-maker could. But the truth is that Republicans problems on healthcare are much deeper than Trump.

To be sure, it isn’t as if Trump has been helpful to the process. His lack of policy understanding, short attention span, lingering unpopularity, conflicting statements, and social media outbursts have hampered the process. He has promised, at various times, to increase coverage, make insurance more comprehensive, and cheaper, with lower deductibles, less federal spending, and fewer taxes.