Better and Better?

President Trump, feeling pinched by a lack of legislative success in his first 100 days, is pushing to revive the American Health Care Act that Paul Ryan pulled from the House floor in a stinging defeat last month. GOP House members are none too thrilled after many faced angry constituents during the April recess and are reluctant to return to Washington next week to revisit an unpopular piece of legislation that stands to deprive upwards of 24 million Americans of their health insurance.

Here are three problems with reviving the AHCA right now:

  1. The AHCA (or TrumpCare/RyanCare) registered a dismal 17% approval rating when it was pulled from the floor just before it was scheduled for a vote. One of the reasons the plan fared so poorly was because the administration did little to educate the public on the contents and impact of the plan. A major policy and legislative effort should include visits to key states and congressional districts by the administration and supporters of the bill. This still has not happened.
  2. As of Friday morning, the full text of the bill is unavailable for members of the House to review making approval by the end of next week as rushed and haphazard as the last time the bill was in play.
  3. Exultant Democrats have been quick to point out the many initiatives Trump has not been able to launch on “Day One” as promised let alone the artificial deadline of the first 100 days. Trump has been grousing about the 100 day mark even as he struggles to showcase legislative accomplishments.

The point is to get health care right for those who need it. The point is not to get it done in 100 days. In a press conference with the the Italian Prime Minister yesterday, President Trump spoke glowingly about improvements to the bill but offered no details – again missing an opportunity to educate the public abut how it is “better and better and better.” is not typically in the habit of offering President Trump advice, but in this case we’re willing to make an exception:

Just saying the AHCA is better is not very believable. You’re much more credible if you can specifically identify how it has been improved and which Americans stand to benefit the most from the bill. We’re a fairly well-educated nation and can handle some detail.