How bad is the health care bill’s failure for Trump, GOP?

How problematic, and why, it is for President Donald Trump and the GOP that the healthcare bill had to be withdrawn? Read few comments.

Andrew Rudalevige, Professor of Government, Bowdoin College

Giving up on health care is problematic for Trump and the GOP caucus for several reasons. First, it suggests they do not have a substantive plan for governance, despite Paul Ryan’s “Better Way” slideshows and seven years or more to decide how they wanted to approach modifying the Affordable Care Act.

Second, it means that their plan to pass tax legislation this year will not have the benefit of the spending cuts envisioned in the health care bill. So, they will need to get more votes to remove the legal language requiring that new policies not add to the deficit, or they will have to actually come up with revenue-neutral tax *reform* rather than simply tax *cuts*.”  Their caucus mostly wants cuts.

Third, it will embolden those who ‘won’ to continue to oppose the president and GOP leadership.

And fourth, it makes Trump look like a loser, not a winner. He hates that.

Steffen SchmidtUniversity Professor of Political Science, Iowa State University

Failing to stay unified to accomplish the BIGGEST policy issue in American politics is a deep disaster for Trump and the Republicans. Trump has failed to “close a deal” on ANYTHING so far and this has totally undermined his claim that he is a dealmaker.

For the Republicans it is catastrophic because for 6 years they have been fighting the Affordable Healthcare bill. Now they showed they’re “Paper Tigers” as Mao would say. They had no plan, no legislation ready, and they did not have a unified party.

Moreover, Trump and Speaker Ryan lied that the potential vote for the legislation was “close” – In fact at least 33 Republicans were opposed. And they showed the deep rift in the Republican Party – they were 10 moderates, 15 Hard line Republicans, and 8 “other” Republicans. These will also oppose tax reform and other GOP proposals because their divisions are real and deep.

Why was the legislation withdrawn?

Of course first of all because NO Democrats would vote for it, at least 33 Republicans would not vote for it (enough to kill it if a vote were taken_ AND because the bill had NO CHANCE of passing the in the US Senate.

The reason so many would not vote for this bill is because:

1. the Freedom Caucus/Tea Party deep conservative Republicans wanted national healthcare rules to be done away with completely.

2. The moderate Republicans understood tat the new legislation would take away healthcare coverage from as many as 40 million Americans and would be a disaster in the 2018 and 2020 elections.

3. Many governors including Republican governors were totally opposed to taking away some of subsidies from low income Americans which would create huge problems (including political problems) in their states.

It is impossible to take away something as important in peoples lives as access to healthcare.

David McCuan, Assistant Professor of Political Science, Sonoma State University

In the latest developments, let’s not rush to judgment here on the demise of an Administration that is just getting started.

This was squarely on both Speaker Paul Ryan AND the President, almost certainly affects the prospects for tax reform, maybe even immigration reform, emboldens the Freedom Caucuses AND Democrats, but…

While a blow, there’s a long way to go here and much angst to see coming out of this Administration. So let’s not report their demise out of the gate. They lack experience, which affects their judgment, have little in the way of a substantive legislative program, but there is plenty of time to be relatively successful & to have some months of political “running room.”

It’s what happens after 6-12 months that things get really interesting. So the “long game” here is what to watch, not the individual trees building each week.

As this WH and GOP Leaders learn how to co-exist with each other – and the press learns how to address and deal with this Administration – only then will we see any real progress or moves backwards that actually “stick,” indicating movement in one way or another.

Right now we have mostly just bluster and Twitter – the sizzle of difference – and not much in the way of substantive steak to assess what this Administration can or cannot deliver.

They are learning how to govern & not doing that so well, but they do know well how to campaign which is really all about distinction and differences, less so about the mess left after you try to drain the swamp.

Steven GreeneAssociate Professor of Political Science, North Carolina State University

I think you could make a better case that it is better for them– in the long run– that this bill never came to pass. This bill was horrible public policy. It’s not just me saying that, that was a near consensus opinion from health policy analysts across the political spectrum. It was bad, unpopular, policy that would negatively affect millions of Americans lives and Trump and the Republicans would fully own that. So, in a sense, to avoid that fate is a good thing for them.

On the other hand, short term, this is very, very bad. Famed “art of the deal” “great negotiator” Donald Trump has shown himself as anything but. His very first attempt to get major legislation in Congress goes up in huge flames. There’s no way, politically, that this result can be seen as good for him. In greatly calls into question his ability to accomplish goals and his overall talents as president.

John PitneyProfessor of Politics, Claremont McKenna College

The failure of the bill is an enormous problem for Trump and the GOP. It reveals that Trump and his White House staff are incompetent at dealing with Congress. It reminds everyone that Trump knows very little about public policy. He demanded that the House vote on the bill Friday. It did not. That proves that Congress can defy him. It exposes the Republicans’ lack of seriousness about health care. They wanted an issue, not a bill.

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