Thursday, May 4, 2017

What did Donald Trump do today?

He held a Rose Garden beer bash to celebrate the House voting on a health care bill he reportedly hates.

The latest version of the AHCA passed the House today by a vote of 217-214, with 20 Republicans joining every Democrat in opposition. To celebrate a rare bit of progress on his legislative agenda, Trump delayed a planned trip to New York City and summoned the Republican leadership to a Rose Garden ceremony. Trump seemed determined to set a festive mood for the event, which featured cases of Bud Light and musical selections like the theme from Rocky, and a speech from Trump himself: "How am I doing? Am I doing okay? I’m president! Hey! I’m president! Can you believe it, right?"

Normally celebrations of this sort are reserved for when a bill is signed, not when it passes one house. The Senate is expected to start from scratch, which will undo any of the temporary compromises made to get wavering House Republicans on board.

More to the point, Trump himself reportedly dislikes the bill, worrying that if anything like its present form survives the Senate, he'll be blamed for breaking campaign promises. The most obvious of these problems is that the bill is expected to cost at least 24 million Americans health care--and that number may increase once the Congressional Budget Office analysis that the House carefully avoided comes in next week. It also slashes nearly a trillion dollars from Medicaid, which Trump swore wouldn't lose a dime on his watch.

Why should I care?

  • There's more to the presidency than keeping up appearances.
  • Voters may have believed Donald Trump when he promised that Trumpcare would mean "insurance for everybody" and not insurance for 24,000,000 fewer people than have it now.