March 24, 2017
Health Care Bill’s Failure: Just Part of the ‘Art of the Deal’
President Donald Trump faces three irreconcilable factions: the GOP establishment, conservatives, and Democrats. He must bring them together — to “deliver the goods,” a key rule in The Art of the Deal. But first he must show them “the downside” — and convince them they will fail on their own.
Trump gave Speaker Paul Ryan and the House Republican leadership enough rope to hang themselves. Instead of dictating terms to him, they will now depend on him to save them, politically. They must accept whatever plan he will put forward.
That, too, will strengthen Trump, and convince conservatives they need his leadership.
Whereupon Trump will turn to the moderate Democrats and offer them a deal — perhaps catastrophic health coverage in exchange for repealing Obamacare.
Democrats would take that deal because they would see a government-backed catastrophic insurance system as a possible path to the universal health care system of their dreams. Republicans would take that deal — after exhausting all of the other options — because it would leave enough room for the free market to provide insurance for most health issues, and for states to experiment with their own policies. And the more health care stakeholders who can be brought into the process, the better.
To quote Morpheus, from the Matrix Reloaded: “What happened, happened, and couldn’t have happened any other way.”
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