Friday’s decision to pull the House Republican health reform bill was not the end of health reform. In fact, it may have been the best step toward actually achieving real health care reform — if congressional leaders learn from the experience.
The Republican congressional leadership erred because they decided to repeal and replace ObamaCare within the traditions of the pre-Trump legislative swamp.
By default, they accepted the fake scores of the Congressional Budget Office. By allowing the scores to exist, they let Democrats and the media quote “the non-partisan CBO” to their disadvantage.
Leadership applied the absurd limitations of Senate reconciliation rules to a House bill, even though it was guaranteed to frustrate their conservative members.
They established a deadline for failure – which we know is detrimental to large legislative achievements. Ronald Reagan took eight months to pass a tax cut, which was giving away money. We took 18 months to pass welfare reform, which had the support of 92 percent of Americans. Obama took eight months to pass ObamaCare – even while he promised it would cure all our health care ills.
The current congressional leadership tried to pass a complicated, critical bill to repeal and replace ObamaCare in fewer than three months.
While Republicans focused on process, and a complex, wonky, Washington-insider argument (just read the transcripts), their opponents in the media and the left hammered away at the human cost of their bill. The result: By the time the bill was pulled, only 17 percent of Americans – or less than 1 in 5 – wanted it.