The House has postponed the vote on Trumpcare. The White House says it has moved the vote until tomorrow. Which is odd because it’s not the administration’s decision. No matter. What did they offer as a reason? They didn’t want to have the vote at 3 AM. Such consideration. Or more accurately, what bullshit. If they had the votes to pass the bill at 3 AM they would have the vote at 3 AM.
So what’s the point? Obviously, they are going to throw all sorts of inducements at the current ‘no’ votes. Which will be fine with Trump, as he has no interest in what the bill says, only in getting it passed. He just wants a ‘win’. Luckily for him, he lacks empathy. So throwing the less fortunate under the bus is a bagatelle.
To understand what’s at stake let’s consider the difference between Obamacare and Trumpcare. Obamacare mandates that an individual must have health insurance. If not covered by his employer he must buy it on the health exchange. However, if he is poor, the government subsidizes his premiums. In addition, the law caps age-based charges. And his health insurance must provide robust coverage, including preventative medicine, hospitalization, mental health, addiction, prescriptions, and maternity care.
On the other hand, Trumpcare doesn’t require people to have health insurance. That’s the ‘freedom’ part conservatives love to crow about. However, the caps on costs to the middle-aged are raised. The tax credits replacing the subsidies are stingy. And insurance companies need not cover many of the procedures mandated by Obamacare.
In short, the Republicans will permit plans that cost less but cover little. Which is great until you’re sick and your so-called health insurance isn’t paying for anything.
But even this reduced coverage and smaller cost are still too much for the rabid right. And they are who Trump has to get to ‘yes’. Expect any rules mandating coverage to be thrown out. And further reductions on the already small premium reimbursements to be the rule
However, go too far and you run the risk of losing moderate (relatively speaking) votes. And more problematic, losing the Senate. Senators, who represent more diverse populations are less likely to support a ‘screw you’ health policy.
Trump doesn’t think that far ahead. He just wants a ‘W’. If the bill passes the House he can deal with the Senate later. And if the Senate tells him to feck off – he will just blame the Democrats.
UPDATE: Trump has just told the House pass Trumpcare or he’ll leave Obamacare in place. Let’s see if they blink.