June 23, 2017

"What I've told leadership very clearly is I'm going to need time, and my constituents are going to need time, to evaluate exactly how this is going to affect them."

"I personally think that holding a vote on this next week would definitely be rushed. I can't imagine, quite honestly, that I'd have the information to evaluate and justify a yes vote within just a week."

Said my sensible Senator, Ron Johnson.

49 comments:

SayAahh said...

Put a finger in the air and test the political wind.
That is sensible ....and typical.

traditionalguy said...

Appearance, appearances, all things are appearances. Apparently he intelligently wants to appear to check on how this appears to everyday Koch brothers who will need time to have CPAs and Stock Brokers to give them the report that counts.

Chuck said...

Meanwhile (as I suggested several times previously on this blog's comment pages) Trump is eager to take credit for a bill (actually a House bill and a Senate bill) on which he's done no work. Other than to set up wildly false hopes and make ridiculous promises.

This morning, news outlets are playing the recording of Trump's interview last evening in which Trump claimed to have gotten done "in five months," what Clinton and Obama could not do.

I'd be so furious if I were a House member who had been cajoled by Trump into voting for the House bill, only to have Trump later go out and say that it was a cheap and heartless proposal.

What a prick. Congressional Republicans are supposed to do all the work, and take all the heat, for any proposal; knowing full well that Trump will take all the credit if there is any, and blame Congress for any failure to get a bill passed or any bill that takes away rights and privileges handed out under Obama.

The Vault Dweller said...

The way this bill has been rolled out on the Senate side seems like it is designed to put recalcitrant Republicans on both sides under political pressure to just hurry up and pass it. (same with the 'celebration' of the passing of the house version) Now partly to Trump's credit, he has put out statements basically saying all the Republicans who are saying wait are doing so based on their legitimate concerns and that they are good people. However, I think this is also partly a good cop, bad cop routine. There will be pressure from various right-leaning interest groups, and some right-wing media to pass this quickly, which the recalcitrant republicans might view as a threat to those groups support in the future. Trump by playing nice is trying to tell them he will try to provide political cover for them with anyone dissatisfied in the republican base.

sparrow said...

Chuck, your description sounds exactly like Obama care. Obama did nothing but received all the credit and little if any blame.
President Trump has already been unjustly accused of all sorts of nonsense; I wouldn't sweat it out worrying if he'll be under enough scrunity or avoid criticism. Really the 24/7 left wing freak out can hardly get any more shrill.

sparrow said...

The Senator sounds reasonable and even if he has mixed motives serious bills deserve a careful review. I remember the undue pressure to pass Obamacare unread. Let's not emulate our opposition unreasonably.

Bill, Republic of Texas said...

I'm starting to get the feeling Chuck doesn't care for this Trump fellow.

Let's be honest. The only reason ObamaCare is at the top of the agenda is because the insurance companies want to keep sucking at Uncle Sugar's teat. A rational party would pass a few simple but popular items on the national agenda. They should have had something ready to go on day one.

But the stupid party decided to go save insurance companies first and second give tax breaks to the wealthiest people who have prospered over the past few decades while ordinary people have been taking hit after hit.

Curious George said...

"There will be pressure from various right-leaning interest groups, and some right-wing media to pass this quickly"

No conservative group is pushing passage. They are screaming for repeal.

Kevin said...

"Trump is eager to take credit for a bill (actually a House bill and a Senate bill) on which he's done no work. Other than to set up wildly false hopes and make ridiculous promises."

Already at full outrage so early in the day? Shouldn't we be holding something back for Trump's inevitable afternoon statements or Tweets?

Did Obama write the ACA? Did he not promise you could keep your doctor, that everyone would be covered, and that prices would go down? Were those not ridiculous promises? Were they even known to be ridiculous as demonstrated by later statements by the Obama team?

Trump and Obama spent political capital and invested their future reputations on the legislation. That's what the President does.

Michael K said...

The Congress has to get this done well before the 2018 election. The process should resemble the first 200 years of the history of Congress more than the past 20.

Oscar DeNoe said...

What rights, what privileges, were handed out under Obamacare, Chuck? I respect your comments as a rule -- would be interested in reading more detail.

AReasonableMan said...

Bill, Republic of Texas said...
A rational party would pass a few simple but popular items on the national agenda. They should have had something ready to go on day one.

But the stupid party decided to go save insurance companies first and second give tax breaks to the wealthiest people who have prospered over the past few decades while ordinary people have been taking hit after hit.


They are neither irrational nor stupid. Their paymasters are the ones calling the shots, not the voters.

Chuck said...

Did Obama write the ACA? Did he not promise you could keep your doctor, that everyone would be covered, and that prices would go down? Were those not ridiculous promises? Were they even known to be ridiculous as demonstrated by later statements by the Obama team?

Trump and Obama spent political capital and invested their future reputations on the legislation. That's what the President does.


...Proof, as I take it, that TrumpCare is every bit as flawed in its conception and likely outcome, as ObamaCare. To me, that's not much of an aspiration. To Obama's credit, he actually went out and met with Republicans and took on hard questions. Obama got involved, and not just by way of showing up at meetings of his own party and telling them that the details were bullshit and just for a bill to get a bill done. Like Trump did in the House. And Obama never talked in laughable pablums about how he'd create a "fantastic" plan. I actually don't recall Obama making promises about "covering everybody." Trump did; and it was a lie of course. Does anybody have Obama quotes that equal Trump's lies from the campaign trail?

The Vault Dweller said...

@Bill, Republic of Texas


" A rational party would pass a few simple but popular items on the national agenda. They should have had something ready to go on day one."

Just out of curiosity, which items would you have liked to see put up first? I agree that the Republicans are the stupid party for not having things ready to go on day one of the legislative calendar.

Kevin said...

"I personally think that holding a vote on this next week would definitely be rushed. I can't imagine, quite honestly, that I'd have the information to evaluate and justify a yes vote within just a week."

I was told the Democrats are just fine voting for a health care bill to find out what's in it.

The Vault Dweller said...

Chuck said...
"To Obama's credit, he actually went out and met with Republicans and took on hard questions. Obama got involved, and not just by way of showing up at meetings of his own party and telling them that the details were bullshit and just for a bill to get a bill done."

I think I remember one of those televised meetings, where Paul Ryan showed up and had the audacity to make his own suggestions on how to improve the bill. The look he got from president Obama in return suggested to me Obama, wasn't really interested working together, just to look like he was willing to work together.

Chuck said...

Oscar DeNoe said...
What rights, what privileges, were handed out under Obamacare, Chuck? I respect your comments as a rule -- would be interested in reading more detail.


1. A long list of things that insurers MUST cover in every plan.
2. Subsidies for plans purchased by lower middle class people on the independent market.
3. Leveled rates based on age, gender, medical history.
4. The right of students and others to remain on parents' plans until age 26.
5. Medicaid expansion.

That's just off the top of my head. I am not even debating the wisdom of ObamaCare. I have never once logged on to this blog to argue for ObamaCare. But the political reality for Republicans is if they are going to cut off established benefits for millions of people, they need to expect to pay a terrible political price. One that Trump has not only failed to acknowledge but which he has actively fudged with ridiculously broad promises.

Chuck said...


...
I think I remember one of those televised meetings, where Paul Ryan showed up and had the audacity to make his own suggestions on how to improve the bill. The look he got from president Obama in return suggested to me Obama, wasn't really interested working together, just to look like he was willing to work together.

It was at Blair House, right? I loved Ryan for that performance. The same day that Republicans took on Dick Durbin (the former plaintiffs' med mal lawyer) over tort reform.

Incidentally, because they are doing this as a reconciliation bill right now, Republicans aren't even doing some of the big things we need in health care law. Like tort reform.

Rene Saunce said...

The ACA remains a pile of lies.

Rene Saunce said...

Obamacare Implosion exposes web of lies and deceit

Bad Lieutenant said...

Congressional Republicans are supposed to do all the work, and take all the heat, for any proposal; knowing full well that Trump will take all the credit if there is any, and blame Congress for any failure to get a bill passed or any bill that takes away rights and privileges handed out under Obama.


Dear Chuck,

In the words of Samuel L Jackson,

THE AMERICAN POLITICAL SYSTEM MOTHERFUCKER, DO YOU SPEAK IT???

Kevin said...

Does anybody have Obama quotes that equal Trump's lies from the campaign trail?

That's an easy Google, if you were really interested. For those who weren't around during the ACA debates here is a starter course:

1. "If you like your health care plan, you can keep it."
2. "If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor."
3. Obama promised repeatedly that premiums would decline by $2,500 per year under Obamacare.
4. Obama claimed that Obamacare wouldn't worsen the deficit.
5. Obama pledged not to raise taxes on middle class families.
6. Obamacare was sold as a plan to reduce emergency room visits.
7. Obamacare's exchanges were sold as being a competitive marketplace.

Kevin said...

I actually don't recall Obama making promises about "covering everybody."

Again, Google...

“I will sign a universal health care bill into law by the end of my first term as president that will cover every American.”

http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/promises/obameter/promise/433/sign-a-universal-health-care-bill/

The Vault Dweller said...

See Kevin, that is where you messed up your interpretation. By "cover every American" he meant the law would cover every American as in every American would be subject to it's requirements. He didn't mean that every American would have health care coverage. Also, "will cover" is vague on the time frame. I'm sure if the ACA is allowed to continue over the next several decades or perhaps centuries every American will be covered. Also I think it depends on what the meaning of is, is.

Sebastian said...

Ah, yes, a "reasonable" Republican, so reasonable the Dems and MSM have more time to mobilize, the "moderates" get cold feet, and the legislation gets killed. Which in this case may be a good second best: letting the ACA implode of real will make the alternative look better.

Chuck said...

Kevin, I never suggested that Obama was pure in the healthcare debate. What I very specifically said was that Obama never made promises that were as blandly ridiculous as Trump.

Your next task in this argument is to Google Trump's campaign pronouncements on health care. You know, the ones where he says he will cover everybody, and premiums will be reduced, and care will be better, and it will be "fantastic."

Kevin said...

I'm confused Chuck. Are you arguing that Trump's actions and statements on healthcare are out of the ordinary? Because they're not. In fact, they're quite tame compared to the detailed list I provided about Obama's statements regarding taxation, deficits, costs, coverage, and the like.

Trump says he will "cover everybody". So did Obama.
Trump says premiums will be reduced. So did Obama.
Trump says care will be better. So did Obama.
Trump says new arrangement will be "fantastic". Obama also promised great things, while not using the word "fantastic".

You can say you don't like the way this is being handled. But you can't make it about Trump.

Or you can make it about Trump. But then you can't make it about how he's handling healthcare.

Pick one. You don't get to have it both ways.

Kevin said...

I would hate to think this entire discussion boils down to Trump's use of the word "fantastic".

I fear, however, it just might.

Birkel said...

Blandly ridiculous: Save $2500 dollars under Obama Insurance and meaningfully cover everybody without increasing the number of health care providers.

Things may be equally ridiculous but that is maximum ridiculous. No more ridicule is available after that. Obama argued for repealing the immutable laws of supply and demand.

Chuck said...

Kevin I am arguing that ObamaCare was surely flawed and not really consistent with my own goals in health care reform. But that Barack Obama's personal promises were at least understandable even if they were oversold.

What I am saying about Trump is that he is an insulting ignoramus. And an egomaniac about all of it. Incapable of discussing health care reform seriously, because he not only doesn't understand it; he doesn't even have an ideology about any of it. And he is reduced to blabbing the most banal salesman-speak about how "fantastic" his plans and deals would be. How HE will do things, without regard to Congress.

I am not trying to have anything "both ways." You are. You want to condemn Obama's false promises, but excuse Trump's false promises.

Birkel said...

A so called fopdoodle defends Obama and attacks Trump.
He's not trying to have it both ways.
He's yet again defending Democrats and attacking Republicans.
Unexpectedly.

Kevin said...

You want to condemn Obama's false promises, but excuse Trump's false promises.

No, I want to put Trump's promises made about changing the healthcare system in context with other people's promises made about changing the healthcare system to see if they deviate from the norm. And if so, enough that we should be outraged by their deviation.

They hardly deviate, and thus they are hardly a source for outrage. In fact, they track pretty closely with what was said and promised the last time the American people allowed the government to meddle in the healthcare system.

Perhaps we should instead consider the idea that promises like "cover everyone" and "fantastic system" are just the political ante for engaging in such complex legislation. Were Ted Cruz or Hillary Clinton president today and dealing with the same situation, they would be making similar grand pronouncements, only using words other than "fantastic".

And rather than pick on Trump's lack of healthcare knowledge, perhaps we should look back in hindsight about how little Obama knew about the healthcare system 150 days into his administration, and how wrong his predictions ended up being no matter how much he learned during his first term.

Unlike Obama, Trump comes into power with a Republican Congress well-versed in the healthcare debate. Paul Ryan is Speaker and has been in on the discussions from the very beginning. Why is it not OK for Trump to expect that Ryan and Congress will work out the details? Why should he spend his waking hours studying the healthcare system rather than relying on Tom Price's expertise?

If these two people, for example, aren't experts on healthcare, then who is? And if Trump has one as Speaker and appoints the other as head of HHS, what more does the guy have to do other than promote the plan they've spent their political lives designing?

Seriously Chuck, nobody elected Trump to become a healthcare wonk.

Birkel said...

Kevin

Trump should not depend on Paul Ryan. Paul Ryan is a necessary evil. He wants to expand the power of Paul Ryan and if that proverbially screws a lot of people in some near-term future, Paul Ryan doesn't care. He's part of the problem, too.

Seeing Red said...

Pubbies should take the heat. They said they'd get rid of it for years if we voted for them. We did, they didn't.


Besides, we all know on the healthcare bill we have to pass it to find out what's in it. That's the way things are done cos the dems set that bar.


Seeing Red said...

Besides, we have to define what "rushed" is. Is it anything like the "rush" to the Iraq war? No, because the pubbies have had a lot longer to work on this.

Chuck said...

Kevin said...
...
Seriously Chuck, nobody elected Trump to become a healthcare wonk.

Of course not. He wouldn't have a clue.

And of course, he shouldn't take credit for any of it, either. But he's already started that.

I want to see the world's greatest dealmaker actually make a deal, between Ted Cruz and Susan Collins. Between Raul Labrador, and Charlie Dent, and Justin Amash, and Rand Paul, and Ron Johnson, and Jeff Flake and John McCain.

My starting point would be Trump prostrating himself and saying that any deal involves painful compromises all around, and a need for extremely clever and thoughtful solutions, and that his campaign babble can't be achieved so he personally acknowledges a role in the problem.

Jack Wayne said...

All this angst over a policy that is collapsing like a Jenga tower. If nothing is done by Congress, ObamaCare will be finished. Then let the people who were on ObamaCara, get insurance from private companies. Case closed. It's all fake angst.

Yancey Ward said...

I still think the most sensible approach was to let Obamacare sink first- the final collapse really was just next year- all we needed to see when the peak in enrollment occurred, and that has now passed.

rcocean said...

Reading bills before you vote on them, is so 20th century.

traditionalguy said...

Chuck has a good point. Trump promised his deplorables that he would do all those good things during the campaign. But he never told the Hill Billies that he needed Congressional votes for them.

Now chuck wants us to be very angry at Trump for not dissolving Congress and ruling by Presidential Decree.The Amazing Obama could do it with no sweat.

Etienne said...

What Congress is unwilling to do, is to deregulate health care, like they deregulated the airlines.

Like the FAA, Trump could provide leadership by saying he is going to privatize the "health care" Traffic System (HCTC).

The current system is holding us back.

oldirishpig said...

All I want them to do is GET AWAY FROM MY HEALTHCARE. Thank you.

Chuck said...

traditionalguy said...
Chuck has a good point. Trump promised his deplorables that he would do all those good things during the campaign. But he never told the Hill Billies that he needed Congressional votes for them.

Now chuck wants us to be very angry at Trump for not dissolving Congress and ruling by Presidential Decree.The Amazing Obama could do it with no sweat.


That is so disingenuous. Trump is EXACTLY that guy who said HE was the guy to do it. The ONLY one in the GOP field who had the dealmaking ability to do it. Trump didn't offer a plan. Trump offered pablums, exclamations, promises, puffery. He had nothing.

I'm pissed, because so many people fell for that bullshit, instead of supporting a guy with real conservative chops, who has had to deal with real nitty-gritty problems of health care and budget balancing, like Governor John Kasich of Ohio.

Kevin said...

I want to see the world's greatest dealmaker actually make a deal, between Ted Cruz and Susan Collins. Between Raul Labrador, and Charlie Dent, and Justin Amash, and Rand Paul, and Ron Johnson, and Jeff Flake and John McCain.

My starting point would be Trump prostrating himself and saying that any deal involves painful compromises all around, and a need for extremely clever and thoughtful solutions, and that his campaign babble can't be achieved so he personally acknowledges a role in the problem.


See Chuck, with all respect, this is where your posts go sideways.You say you want to see him put a deal together. And then you say he must do or say something specific in order to satisfy you.

If you want the deal, then fine. But he can put it together in a number of ways. He might get it by being nice. He might get it by telling them they'll suffer losses if they are the holdouts. He might get it by bribing them, like Obama did (see: Cornhusker Kickback). He might do it through flattery - "you guys are so smart I know you can work this out". And he might get it some other way. If you want the deal, fine. Let him deal.

But if you want to see him "prostrate himself" and make specific statements. Then that has nothing to do with getting a deal done. Obama didn't "prostrate himself". And Obama made many more specific promises (no tax on the middle class, keep your doctor, keep your policy, etc.) which made it EXPONENTIALLY harder for the Dems to put a healthcare deal together.

In fact, they couldn't do it. The deal they put together violated many of his promises, which were sacrificed in order to get the deal done.

This tells me that campaign babble is not a binding constraint on healthcare dealmaking. But it also tells me presidential prostration and personal debasement are also not necessary for healthcare dealmaking.

So again, I have to come back to you. Do you want the deal? Or do you want specific statements and actions by Trump which would please you but which have shown no past impact on the ability to get a deal done?

Kevin said...

I'm pissed, because so many people fell for that bullshit, instead of supporting a guy with real conservative chops, who has had to deal with real nitty-gritty problems of health care and budget balancing, like Governor John Kasich of Ohio.

Chuck, I think we're finally getting to the heart of your point of view. Just as Trump is not Hillary or Bernie, Trump is also not Cruz or Kasich.

The truth is difficult, but the truth is the voters didn't want Kasich. Kasich could do some things better than Trump. But the people decided the things Trump could do better than Kasich were more important in 2016.

As a step toward working through the stages of grief, it might be helpful try seeing what Trump brings that Kasich lacks, and what Trump might be able to accomplish that Kasich couldn't.

And if that is a seemingly impossible task, which it might be, I know there are many of us here who made the Trump > Kasich calculation who will help you identify some of those things.

Because we really don't want to see you be angry day after day.

Kevin said...

Trump should not depend on Paul Ryan.

Trump has to play the Speaker he was dealt. If Ryan can't get this through, he won't be Speaker after 2018.

rehajm said...

You will have had several days to learn what's in and what's out but close to a decade to understand all the moving parts. You could have called Reasonable Representative Ryan if you didn't understand something. You're dragging your feet for other reasons. Sensible aint one of em.

Birkel said...

Depend and work with are drastically different things. Yes, we all have to deal with whatever Big Government solution Paul Ryan delivers. And it will be marginally better than the Big Government solution of Nancy Pelosi. The free market system (after helping those who cannot help themselves) seems not to be an option.

As for Kasich, who cares? The 2% of people who liked that guy couldn't get him elected. His 15 minutes are expired.

pacwest said...

Politics aside, considering the pile of dog poo the AHCA is becoming, it should be held up for closer scrutiny. It is taking a left turn. President Trump's suggestion that we should throw more money at it was bothersome to me even though I know he's not a fiscal conservative. I was OK with Ryans original proposal, but that has gone by the wayside. If this is the buyoff to rid us of the corrupticrats, I also think the longer the process goes on the worse this pile is going to get. I hope the fiscal conservative just let ACA fail and we can mop up the mess after.