Seven years of campaign promises to repeal Obamacare were broken when the Republican Party rolled out the American Health Care Act. But somehow, the Freedom Caucus is now taking the brunt of the abuse for the bill’s failure to launch.
Everyone but House leadership seemed to recognize the bill was bad. The chief complaint of conservatives in the House Freedom Caucus was the bill’s failure to repeal mandated essential health benefits – those insurance regulations responsible for increasing premiums and high deductibles. Still, moderates thought the bill went too far and sought to protect Medicaid expansion in their states. Voters across the political spectrum were unhappy, with the AHCA polling at only 17 percent public approval.
When those concerns were brought to the president from the Freedom Caucus, he reportedly told them to “forget about the little shit.” What the president failed to understand was that the “little shit” would break this bill. House Conservatives were on the cusp of supporting the legislation if Speaker Paul Ryan and leadership agreed to repeal the fundamental insurance regulation problems. Moderates in the party balked at that proposition and the Speaker Ryan pulled the bill Friday.
Now the spin has begun. Rep. Austin Scott, R-Ga., declared it was Freedom Caucus Chairman Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C., who “betrayed” the American people.
Mark Meadows betrayed Trump and America and supported Pelosi and Dems to protect Obamacare. https://t.co/zjcfmMhs9P
— Rep. Austin Scott (@AustinScottGA08) March 25, 2017
The media has latched on to that narrative. The Wall Street Journal lambasted the Freedom Caucus as “the Obamacare Republicans.” Politico published a hit piece over the weekend detailing insider frustrations with the “far-right” members who sunk the bill, insisting that if fulfill seven years of campaign promises.
Rep. Adam Kinzinger, R-Ill., is running around insisting that the Freedom Caucus just saved Obamacare, and pledging to work with Democrats to overcome conservative opposition to future legislation.
The House Freedom Caucus just single-handedly saved #Obamacare.
— Adam Kinzinger (@RepKinzinger) March 24, 2017
(4) He handed the sales job off to Trump.
(5) Trump misread the HFC.
(6) Trump put Meadows in a bad spot.
— Jay Cost (@JayCostTWS) March 27, 2017
(7) Trump wouldn't talk about policy specifics (i.e. no back channel w/ WH to fix it).
(8) Rodney Frelinghuysen finally knocked it down.
— Jay Cost (@JayCostTWS) March 27, 2017
Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen, R-N.J., is one of the moderates, with a 29 percent Liberty Score©. He is the chairman of the powerful House Appropriations Committee, and the news that he wouldn’t support the bill opened the floodgates to more moderate defections.
According to one report, Speaker Ryan was pleading on one knee with Rep. Don Young of Alaska for support on the bill. Young, with an “F” Liberty Score©, is hardly one of the conservative “purists” who supposedly defeated this bill. Yet Paul Ryan was begging for his support? If it was the moderates who were pulling out on the GOP health care plan, how is it the conservatives’ fault it all fell apart?
Regardless, on Sunday morning, the president chose a side.
Democrats are smiling in D.C. that the Freedom Caucus, with the help of Club For Growth and Heritage, have saved Planned Parenthood & Ocare!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 26, 2017
On Friday, President Trump blamed the Democrats for Obamacare’s failures. In the same remarks, he said he would be “totally open” to working with Democrats after Obamacare “explodes.”
Really, the whole of the weekend’s news can be summed up in one succinct Ben Shapiro tweet.
Begun, the war on conservatives has.
— Ben Shapiro (@benshapiro) March 26, 2017
As the Republican Party moves on to tax reform, conservatives should be prepared to be boxed out of negotiations, again. (For more from the author of “3 Questions Ryan Needs to Answer Before Running to the LEFT on RINOcare” please click HERE)