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Trump Wants to Concentrate on Healthcare, Not Tax Reform

Trump Wants to Concentrate on Healthcare, Not Tax Reform

Tax reform has to wait.

After the healthcare reform failed before it even reached the floor, President Donald Trump wanted to move onto tax reform. But he recently told The Wall Street Journal that he wants to return to healthcare:

Three weeks later, he said he is determined to resurrect the health-care bill even if it means delaying the tax overhaul, telling The Wall Street Journal in an interview: “I want to get health care done…I think I will get it done.”

The tax overhaul, he said, would have to wait.

Triump also expressed “a renewed confidence in Freedom Caucus,” which is the main group in Congress that kept the GOP from even taking its bill to a vote:

“They want to do the right thing and they do like me and they do like their president,” he said.

Rep. Mark Meadows of North Carolina, a prominent House Republican and leader of the Freedom Caucus, said he had conversations with the president and his staff in which he set out a potential path to yes on a health-care deal for a number of conservative members and others.

He declined to discuss the specifics of that path, but praised the president’s past business history in making deals where no deals seemed to be in sight.

Trump had previously threatened to target members of the caucus during midterm elections next year.

However, Trump’s decision to return to healthcare has caused a few problems because the GOP in Congress has started tax reform talks:

“We don’t get it. What a waste of time and political capital to return to the quagmire of health reform,” said Greg Valliere, chief global strategist at Horizon Investments, a North Carolina investment firm, in a client note Wednesday. Unlike taxes or infrastructure, he said the health bill is “clearly a no-win issue for the Republicans.”

The renewed focus on health care also raises the prospect of a second embarrassing defeat that would raise more questions about the new administration’s ability to shepherd complicated legislation through Congress.

But Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) has always insisted that healthcare reform must happen before anything else. As Ed Morrissey points out at Hot Air, the GOP healthcare bill “does repeal a number of taxes built into ObamaCare that a separate tax reform bill can’t do.”

On Thursday, the administration released a few fixes to Obamacare. From The Huffington Post:

The regulation published by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services on Thursday is a response to insurers’ demands that federal authorities take steps to limit consumers’ ability to drop in and out of the insurance market. Such “gaming” of the system drives up costs for the carriers that must cover the consumers’ claims.

The overall consequence of the new rules is that health insurance will be harder to buy in 2018, especially for people whose circumstances change during the year, enabling them to buy policies outside the annual sign-up period. The length of that sign-up period is also cut in half.

Other aspects of the regulation could make coverage less comprehensive, reduce the value of the tax credit subsidies that make premiums more affordable for low- and middle-income people, and allow insurers to offer plans with fewer medical providers in their networks.


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legalizehazing | April 14, 2017 at 12:22 pm

¡ Si Se Puede ! Da me HSAs. Kill Obamacare. Liberate the citizens and businesses.

This is a negotiation. The first cut did not work, hence the second cut.

    notamemberofanyorganizedpolicital in reply to Valerie. | April 14, 2017 at 2:33 pm

    …and as with any successful business mogul, Trump knows all about negotiation….

So, we are going to immediately revisit healthcare, which is never going to accomplish what Trump promised and ignoring tax reform which is also going to be an uphill battle in Congress.

The strategy here will be interesting to see.

I’m sure the Republicans in Congress would be perfectly happy to continue doing that they’ve been doing for the past decade or so … i.e., not a whole lot.

And if Trump sets up camp in front of one of their roadblocks and does nothing but complain that there’s a roadblock in front of him, that wouldn’t disturb Congressional inertia in the least.

But if, just when they all get comfortable behind their wall of non-activity, Trump shifts his efforts to one of their other roadblocks, Congress may be uncomfortable, may squirm around a bit, may even show some signs of life … and that won’t bother me in the least.

And if HuffPo grouses about it … that won’t bother me much, either.

Connivin Caniff | April 14, 2017 at 1:44 pm

At this point, what difference does it make?

Pelosi Schmelosi | April 14, 2017 at 2:33 pm

ObamaCare was a tax bill so I’m not sure what the problem is here.

Obamacare must be repealed. Period.
This was a major, major promise of Trump’s. He’ll do it – once he engineers that rat paul ryan out the way.

Trump needs to understand (and I don’t think he does) how harmful socialism is to all of the individuals in America. Repeal ObamaCare entirely. If he personally feels a need to help Americans with health care, let him start from scratch, just as Obama did.



buckeyeminuteman | April 14, 2017 at 10:38 pm

Bring for a vote the same exact bill that each house approved and put on Obama’s desk over a year ago. Obamacare could be gone within a week if spineless RINOs wanted it to be.