I have mixed feelings about House Speaker Paul Ryan's withdrawal of American Healthcare Act legislation on Friday. On the one hand the legislation would have ended Obama's mandate forever. And it did include a requirement that healthy adults must work to receive it. However, in an effort to win passage, Ryan had made so many promises, added so much pork, that it was little different than Obamacare itself.
First let's look at the first iteration of the bill when first drafted. That first draft peeled back a lot of the wasted government gravy, resulting in a savings of $340 billion dollars over ten years. Then some pork was added to satisfy the RINO's...and the savings dwindled to $140 billion. Then more pork was added last week...another $85 billion, which would have resulted in a net savings of just $55 billion over ten years. While that's nothing to sneeze at, it simply wasn't a true conservative approach to solving our nation's health care problems.
And of course Obamacare Light did not have a mandate to market health insurance across state lines....the only real answer to getting our healthcare premiums down. And it did not have tort reform. I can accept Ryan's explanation that cross-state marketing would not pass the Sequestration Criteria, and I accepted Ryan's promise that it would be introduced as a separate piece of legislation, but I simply can't understand why tort reform wasn't included in this bill. (Were the K-Street lobbyists at work here?)
No one knows how all this will turn out. But it certainly doesn't look good for Republicans...or Trump. I was disappointed at Trump saying on Friday that he's amenable to just dropping the legislation entirely and allowing Obamacare to continue. That's no way to lobby for legislation.
As we now know it was about 40 Republicans who opposed the bill, 18 RINO's who wanted even more generous benefits, and 22 from the conservative Freedom Caucus who insisted on legislation that would have pared the millions of freeloaders who can afford big screen TV's, iPhones and gaming systems...but are not willing to pay their own health insurance. There was just no way for this bill to audit out the "gamers".
What we saw on Friday was not simply the failure of passing a healthcare bill. What we saw is how hard it is to take away government gravy after Obama had already set the gravy bowl on the table. We have never seen a government benefit taken away once it has been given....and Friday proved we never will.