Open letter to the entire Republican Party including President Trump
You have to hand it to the Democrats... they get stuff done. It doesn't matter how little a particular Senator, Member of Congress, Delegate, Councilperson or Dog Catcher cares for a bill, if the Party wants it, there is always consent. The bill gets passed. Sure there are sometimes a few lone holdouts, but these folks have gotten permission to vote that way. As long as a bill gets passed, that is all that matters.
Republicans? Not so much. They hem and they haw. They worry about whether support for legislation meets with their own personal values and whether they might get some hassle from important donors back home. If a vote comes down to a single Republican, you can never hang your hat on the fact that he/she will "take one for the team" and vote for passage. It just isn't done. Maybe it helps them sleep at night, but it certainly doesn't endear them to their constituency or to the party.
Democrats are the BIG PICTURE party who worries about small groups. Republicans are macro-focused and worry more about what large groups are going to think about how they vote.
Which is better? Well, if your goal is to pass legislation, the Democrats win the day.
Why bring this up? Because one of President Trump's signature campaign promises (and a Republican promise for the past seven years) is about to be relegated to the scrap heap of Unfulfilled Dreams. That promise is the repeal and replacement of Obamacare. How did we get here and how can we fix this mess? I think it can be boiled down to this:
You have to agree on the problem before you can craft a solution.In the case of health insurance replacement, I believe that the entire party needs to meet in a summit-style setting and hammer out a platform which ALL members swear that they will support. Here are a few of the points which must be agreed upon:
- At the end of the day are we willing to allow citizens to go without health insurance?
- If the answer is yes, then adjourn the meeting and give up on Obamacare repeal.
- If the answer is no, then who will pay for their coverage?
- What sort of coverage will citizens get for paying nothing?
- Will pre-existing conditions be acceptable when applying for coverage?
- If so, under what circumstance will citizens be allowed to "cheat" the system and sign up only when they are under duress?
- If rules are set to require participation in the program will the system be built such that it will be strong enough to force non-participants to suffer the consequences if they cannot afford to pay for their own medical bills?
- And finally, WHAT DO WE (as Republicans) STAND FOR?
If the Senate passes the Frankenbill (and that is a BIG if), it still has to go back to the House in committee and that won't be pretty. This is all happening instead of passing meaningful reform legislation for the rest of the government. What a complete and total waste of time!
I hold President Trump more than 50% responsible for this cluster because he has really been incoherent on this. He should use his powerful Twitter stream to push, badger and cajole Congress, through their constituents, to DECIDE and then to DO. Then, move on to the next thing. And guess what? If they did this, these clowns just might get re-elected in 2018. If they don't pass anything, I can predict what the results will be...