On November 1, 2016 Donald Trump said:
“When we win on November 8th, and elect a Republican Congress, we will be able to immediately repeal and replace Obamacare, have to do it, I will ask Congress to convene a special session so we can repeal and replace, and it will be such an honor for me, for you and for everybody in this country because Obamacare has to be replaced, and we will do it, and we will do it very quickly.”
On Jan. 11, 2017, after his election, Trump doubled down on his claims that he would “repeal and replace” Obamacare.
- As early as July of 2015, at the Freedom Fest, Trump described himself as a great negotiator who went to Wharton. He was specifically critical of Obama’s negotiation skills.
- On April 16, 2016 Trump described President Obama a horrible negotiator, and promoted himself as a great negotiator. Trump explained that we need “great negotiators.”
- Trump was inaugurated on January 20, 2017. Two months and four days later, Trump’s insights as a negotiator were put to the test, before all of America. Trump used a “classic move from his boardroom playbookk by giving Republicans an ultimatum. “If they don’t vote yes Friday, he will move on and saddle them with the shame of failing to repeal Obamacare, a cherished GOP goal.”
- But his gamble failed.He tasted the ” humiliating defeat that suggests that the same GOP infighting that handicapped the party while Democrats held the White House is immune to the outsider shakeup he promised.”
The failure of the Republicans’ three-month blitz to repeal President Barack Obama’s signature domestic achievement exposed deep divisions in the Republican Party that the election of a Republican president could not mask. It cast a long shadow over the ambitious agenda that Mr. Trump and Republican leaders had promised to enact once their party assumed power at both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue.
And it was the biggest defeat of Mr. Trump’s young presidency, which has suffered many. His travel ban has been blocked by the courts. Allegations of questionable ties to the Russian government forced out his national security adviser, Michael T. Flynn. Tensions with key allies such as Germany, Britain and Australia are high, and Mr. Trump’s approval ratings are at historic lows.
A major reason for the bill’s demise was the opposition of members of the conservative House Freedom Caucus, which wanted more aggressive steps to lower insurance costs and to dismantle federal regulation of insurance products.
The failure of the Republicans to repeal and replace Obamacare is a clear indication that Trump is unable to unite his own party. His failure to win the votes necessary in a Republican dominated House, is a sign of things to come. As the country becomes more divided than ever, Trump’s inability to lead even his own party in the repeal and replacement of Obamacare is a clear indication that little if anything is going to be accomplished during the Trump administration. By issuing an ultimatum, and then being unable to close the deal, Trump illustrated his inability to coerce members of his own party in Congress. It appears the art of the deal has escaped Donald Trump.