Last night’s epic collapse of Obamacare repeal on the Senate floor was the death knell for what has been, from the beginning, a highly disorganized and ineffective effort. Democrats, who deserve plenty of blame for the failures of the current health-care system, were undoubtedly wrong to refuse to even discuss reforming it. Republicans, meanwhile, promised for over seven years to repeal and replace Obamacare, and they had all of that time to craft a workable plan for doing so. Instead, they developed one that split the caucus into irreconcilable wings.
But the failures of the Senate do not excuse Donald Trump’s shameful lack of leadership throughout this process. With a more competent, more popular Republican president, some kind of agreement almost surely could have been brokered.
Trump has never once demonstrated that he had a concrete idea of the health-care policy he wanted his party to enact. To be sure, he put forward a written health-care agenda during the campaign, but he repeatedly failed to show that he knew the first thing about it — or even that he had read it.