Thursday, May 4, 2017 at 2:41 PM

Republicans Bunt then Claim Home Run on Repealing and Replacing Obamacare

Posted by Anthony L. Hall

House Republicans have passed their ambitious plan to repeal and replace Obamacare after several fits and starts, sending the measure to the Senate, where it is expected to be significantly revised.

House Republicans will now head to the White House for a press conference.

(ABC News, May 4, 2017)

Everyone is hailing the passage of this bill in the House as if it were now the law of the land. This, despite the fact that anyone who knows anything about it knows that it is dead on arrival in the Senate. (If you don’t know how this legislative process works, I suggest you google “Schoolhouse Rock How a Bill Becomes a Law” to be informed — and entertained.)

No doubt Republicans would like you think they merely promised to pass a bill in the House to repeal and replace Obamacare. In fact, they promised to eradicate it from the law books. Yet, as no less a person than Speaker Paul Ryan would readily concede, Obamacare is still the law of the land. Their promise is still far from being kept.

This Baseball analogy might help:

  1. It’s the bottom of the first inning, there are already two outs (representing the two failed Republican efforts to pass this bill earlier this year), and Trump is batting third.
  2. He bunts to get on first base (today’s passage in the House), and everyone reacts as if his team had just won the friggin’ game – complete with a Rose Garden celebration at the White House.
  3. But then the cleanup batter (the bill in the Senate) strikes out and the first inning is all she wrote.

With that, the Republicans’ cardinal promise to repeal and replace Obamacare is dead. Next inning: tax reform.

And bear in mind folks, there are nine innings (other cardinal promises like building that wall), and there’s no reason to think their play will get any better as this game (the Trump presidency) progresses.

Incidentally, for those of you who don’t know Baseball from Cricket, perhaps the proverbial warning about counting chickens before they hatch will do. That’s what these Republicans are doing with their gloating about repealing and replacing Obamacare.

Not to mention sacrificing their vaunted fiscal rectitude at the altar of Trump’s ego. A rectitude, for example, that heretofore compelled them to demand cost and impact reports (a.k.a. CBO score) before voting on bills. And they are doing all this for what amounts to a pyrrhic legislative win — at best.

Indeed, I’d say this vote today was much ado about nothing, but that would imbue the political farce afoot with too much honor.

Related commentaries:
Trump – crazy uncle

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