Sunday, March 26, 2017

Trumpcare Postmortems

Trumpcare Postmortems

by Stephen Lendman

House failure to pass Trumpcare wasn’t an administration Waterloo, but it complicates its plans for tax cuts, infrastructure spending and other issues.

Healthcare savings by repealing and replacing Obamacare were counted on to help finance Trump’s other major programs.

Friday’s defeat cost him political capital and momentum. His touted dealmaking prowess failed its first major test. 

What’s ahead won’t get easier. His legislative agenda sustained a major body blow. 

Plans called for repealing and replacing Obamacare, followed by comprehensive tax reform (largely benefitting business and privileged elites), then creation of a $1 trillion infrastructure program, a thinly veiled privatization scheme.

Things aren’t going as planned. Trumpcare’s defeat complicates things. On Friday, House Speaker Paul Ryan said “tax reform (now is) more difficult.”

Most Republicans want it to be revenue neutral, not easily achieved without help from Trumpcare savings.

Ryan proposed taxing imports as a possible solution. If imposed, a trade war could follow, along with higher consumer prices. Hard-pressed retailers oppose the idea.

Ahead of Friday’s outcome, New York magazine said Trumpcare’s failure would be “a stinging defeat” for the president, worse for Paul Ryan - “who has all but staked his Speakership on passing this bill.”

Chief White House strategist Steve Bannon could emerge “the big winner” from Friday’s outcome. He’s “been waging war against Ryan for years.” Trumpcare’s failure may be his best chance to “topple” him and advance his own agenda.

While publicly supporting the measure, he “talked it down…privately…in recent days,” unhappy because it “d(idn’t) drive down costs, (was) written by the insurance industry,” and didn’t go as far as he wished to “deconstruct the administrative state.”

The dust is still settling from Friday’s defeat. Trump’s dealmaking prowess failed him. Ryan’s Speakership powers couldn’t enlist enough GOP support for the new administration’s first major legislative test.

Maybe more key defeats will follow. Ahead, ordinary people won’t benefit from administration and congressional policies exclusively serving America’s privileged class at their expense. 

It’s the same whether Republicans or Democrats are in power - a bipartisan conspiracy against equity and justice for all.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at 

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

Visit his blog site at

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