Pinkerton: what Trump’s “great healthcare plan for the people” might look like


On March 25, in the wake of the failure of the American Health Care Act (AHCA), President Trump tweeted a warning and a prediction: “ObamaCare will explode and we will all get together and piece together a great healthcare plan for THE PEOPLE.  Do not worry!”

(Article by James P. Pinkerton from

In the first part of this series, we considered Trump’s warning: The question of whether or not Obamacare will “explode.”  And our tentative answer was that the national political system, almost certainly, will seek to prevent, or at least contain, any such explosion.

Okay, so now let’s turn to Trump’s prediction that “we will all get together and piece together a great healthcare plan for the people.”

Trump has, indeed, made some bold promises about his healthcare plan.  He has said, for example, that it will be “much less expensive and much better.” And if the failed AHCA fell far short of those aspirations, well, Trump can point out that it really wasn’t his bill; it was the House Republicans’: As he said in the Oval Office on March 24, after AHCA went down, “There were things in this bill I didn’t particularly like.”  And as for his own future signature effort on healthcare, if and when that comes, he said, “I’ll tell you what’s going to come out of it is a better bill.”

Indeed, at a March 28 reception for a bipartisan group of senators at the White House, the President, eyeing Sen. Charles Schumer leader of the Senate Democrats, then said, “I know that we are all going to make a deal on healthcare. . . . I have no doubt that that’s going to happen very quickly.” He added, “Hopefully it will start being bipartisan because everybody really wants the same thing.”

Well, not quite everybody, as we saw in the AHCA debate.  But here’s what Schumer wants: On the issue of Obamacare “exploding,” he has said, “For the President to say that he’ll destroy it or undermine it, that’s not presidential. That’s petulance.  And it’s not going to work.”

And as for working with Republicans to improve Obamacare, Schumer has been blunt as to his basic precondition: “If they would denounce ‘repeal’ . . . then we’ll work with them on improving it and making it better. They can’t continue to want to repeal.”  So it’s obvious: If Trumpcare is defined only as health insurance, it will end up looking a lot like Obamacare.

It’s possible, of course, that Trump will choose, in the end, not to work with the Democrats on Obamacare changes.  And what will happen then?  The Republican Senate Leader, Mitch McConnell, gave the most useful perspective: “I think where we are on Obamacare, regretfully at the moment, is where the Democrats wanted us to be, which is the status quo

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