You can often tell who is on a losing side of an issue by how little they seem to like it when you bring it up. It makes sense, then, that many Republicans are pissed that President Trump is again saber-rattling over dismantling Obamacare, according to a report from The Daily Beast.
Yesterday, the Trump administration majorly pivoted their position on the Affordable Care Act. The Justice Department said that it agreed with a judge who ruled late last year that the ACA is unconstitutional and that the entire law should be struck down. Initially, the administration said it agreed only with removing the provision that requires coverage of preexisting conditions.
But even that stance got the GOP in a lot of trouble during the midterms. One top pollster said the issue was responsible for Democrat’s surprisingly large wins in the House of Representatives.
“It was mostly all pre-existing conditions,” the GOP pollster told The Daily Beast. “Where they got the big run. Where they went from 20 seats to winning 40 seats, was on health care.”
But Trump doubled down on his administration’s new stance on Obamacare yesterday, tweeting something characteristically both vague and foreboding.
Republicans were not pleased.
“They are completely tone deaf,” a top GOP strategist texted The Daily Beast. “How bout a few more victory laps on Mueller while you can get away with it? WTF is wrong with them?”
This was a common refrain—why bring up our unpopular and confused healthcare policies when we could be gloating over the Mueller report? It’s a good point!
Others have apparently become hardened to Trump’s illogical antics.
“And there’s something unusual about him stepping on a good message?” a former administration official joked to The Daily Beast.
“It doesn’t surprise me because this president is a hyperbole in action every day, so if there’s an opportunity to end the whole Obamacare, ACA, regardless of the consequences of doing that, he’s fine,” the former administration official continued. “Though, it speaks to the lack of anybody within the administration pushing back, and it gets fewer and fewer and fewer individuals who will speak with responsibility.”
Some tried to blame the shift in focus on the Democrats.
“I think they’re doing anything they can to change [the subject] away from Bob Mueller,” Trump ally Rep. Mark Meadows told The Daily Beast.
But Trump keeps pushing it. In a closed-door meeting with Senate Republicans today, Trump again mentioned his desire for healthcare reform. He was apparently pretty light on details.
Sounds great so far!
“I don’t think you can really rethink health care until you know for sure whether Obamacare continues to be part of it or not,” Senator Roy Blunt, who was present for the meeting, told reporters. “I think we’re ahead of ourselves to assume that the court would say that Obamacare is somehow no longer there.”
Despite running for years on the promise of repealing Obamacare, Republicans repeatedly failed to do so, despite controlling all both the executive and legislative branches for the first two years of the Trump administration. Now, there’s a sense that it’s too late.
“I don’t think it’s going to pass the House,” former House Speaker and current informal adviser to Trump Newt Gingrich told The Daily Beast.
But others believe the GOP should stay the course.
“There’s an old Japanese proverb: Fall down seven times, get up eight. You just keep trying,” Sen. John Kennedy told The Daily Beast. “Obamacare sucks. We start with the principle of coverage of pre-existing conditions but frankly, we got nowhere to go but up… Imagine what we could accomplish if we channeled just 25 percent of the energy that everybody around here is focusing on the Mueller report to the health care delivery system.”
Yes, just imagine.