3 Questions Ryan Needs to Answer Before Running to the LEFT on RINOcare

A new refrain echoing through the Washington, D.C., swamp, is the need to find Democrats to play along with GOP leadership, simply because the House Freedom Caucus didn’t jump at its beckoning during last week’s RINOcare debacle.

To paraphrase Sterling Archer, do you want single-payer healthcare? Because this is how you get single-payer healthcare – in the long run, at least.

(In case anyone needs a recap of the last few weeks, here’s a succinct one.)

Now failed GOP presidential candidate John Kasich, Rep. Adam Kinzinger, R-Ill., Fox News’ Judge Jeanine Pirro have all joined the call to disregard conservatives and run to the left to score support from the other side of the aisle.

This new impulse raises three questions that will have to be answered first:

1. Which Democrats do they plan on working with?

Yes, there are some Democrat members in states where the president won whose positions are precarious, but the Blue Dog Coalition is now a storied legend of a bygone era at this point. And Jim Webb’s 2016 campaign (and statements following) have provided more than enough insight as to what happens to those on the Left who don’t keep to the party’s line in the sand.

2. What will Trump trade to get “bipartisan consensus”?

Even if Paul Ryan can find some folks to break away, a bill that would gain Ryan enough consensus on the Left would almost certainly lose him critical support on the Right, all the while dragging the Republican Party even further from its repeal promises. Any sort of reform would have to be a real sweetheart of a deal for enough votes to break away from Minority Leaders Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer, especially since Dems have every political incentive to allow the system to collapse under Republican governance.

3. Is it worth it?

Even in a best-case scenario, such an effort would only wreck the market slightly less than the current scenario, which is an easy way to slap the old “bipartisan” sticker on a bill while putting the country closer to an elephant-brand collapse (for which the inevitable answer will be a single-payer system). How IS Venezuela doing, by the way? I haven’t checked in a while.

Such a proposal would obviously run outside of the pale for the House Freedom Caucus, but what about those in the Republican Study Committee who weren’t sold on the RINOcare beta version to begin with?

And we mustn’t forget that the president himself cannot introduce legislation, nor can he bring it to the floor. For all the flaws in the original health care design, one would only hope that the speaker’s conservative leanings would lead him to put his foot down at some point … lest he put his name on anything that would taint the GOP’s “Better Way” agenda with a health care law that would be, at best, a slight reform of Obama’s signature boondoggle.

Meanwhile, Freedom Caucus leadership has made it clear that obstruction is not its goal — a real repeal of the law is. HFC Chair Mark Meadows, R-N.C., and Vice Chair Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, have iterated and reiterated their willingness to work with House Leadership and the Oval Office to draft a bill that better repeals more of Obamacare.

Rather than perform an act of ideological and political contortion to create an even more lukewarm bill with Democrat consensus, it would appear that Republican leadership would simply have to try something it failed to do on the first attempt: adequately include free-market reformers in the process, rather than handing them a do-or-die ultimatum.

This is not a situation where the conservative approach has been tried and found wanting, but one where the Republican approach has been found difficult and left untried.

Indeed, the temptation to take one’s ball and go home can be quite tempting, especially when you’re down a few runs in the second inning. But, in this case, it makes far less sense than going back to the dugout, tweaking your game plan, and finding a winning strategy that plays to your whole bench. There’s still time to win this one. (For more from the author of “3 Questions Ryan Needs to Answer Before Running to the LEFT on RINOcare” please click HERE)

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