Healthcare update: The chances of Republicans passing their version of healthcare reform grow ever more slim. The party is having trouble reconciling competing ideologies within their ranks. Hardline conservatives essentially want to return the insurance industry back to the days before Obamacare while also keeping some semblance of the Obamacare tent pile which requires companies to cover preexisting conditions. However, the only way to keep the provision is to somehow funnel large numbers of healthy people into the markets to offset the sick. Obamacare cleared that hurdle with the individual mandate, an idea the GOP can’t stomach. The moderate wing of the party is concerned about kicking thousands of folks off of expanded Medicare and also wants to keep the preexisting conditions requirement. Party leadership and the president have been unable to pull both sides toward a compromise. Trump implored the congress to stay in DC and come up with a solution instead of returning home for a recess. Trump had also alternately threatened to let Obamacare care fail and to just repeal it without a replacement. Both instances would cause millions to lose insurance coverage within the year.
Petty Press: Trump made news this week by lambasting his Attorney General and being less than forth coming about an undocumented conversation he had with Vladimir Putin. Trump assailed AG Jeff Sessions in a wide ranging interview held with the New York Times. This is ironic because Trump usually bashes the paper as a failure and a source of fake news. The president said he never would’ve hired Sessions had he known he would recuse himself from the Russian investigation. He also intimated that his finances should be off limits to the investigation run by special counsel Bob Mueller. As the Russian investigation grows closer to Trump, he and his administration are circling the wagons. His lawyers are reportedly looking for ways to undermine the investigation. Sessions has said that he’ll stay on despite the president’s displeasure with him regarding the Russian probe. Trump has been unable to build a governing coalition largely because he has been willing to sacrifice many of his own people on the alter of public opinion in order to save his own reputation. Unless something changes there won’t be much legislative progress this year.
Final thought: Our politics are broken and therefore unreliable for impacting change. Ideally the health care bill should be negotiated and a compromise found between the two parties. Instead factions within factions fight for ideological supremacy. Neither party is truly working toward the good of the country but rather to prove that one concept or idea is better than the other it’s never all or nothing. Yet that is the way out governing attempts to operate. Everything in our country is now a blood sport. Colin Kaepernick can’t work in the NFL because he protested police brutality. There’s little empathy for his position, just polar opposite dugouts were teams gather never to actually mix on the field. There doesn’t seem to be an immediate solution to this. If politics is not the answer, then there must be another way. What that is, I’m not sure.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]