In a recent post Syrah examined the lack of any bipartisan cooperation in Washington. In this post, we'd like to offer a simple way for both parties to pass meaningful healthcare reform. While we have little confidence this could happen, we're going to propose it anyway because politicians shouldn't be playing games with our healthcare.
First, let's get one thing straight. Under the current iteration of Trumpcare 2.0, millions will lose insurance and countless others will go bankrupt. People will die. And every member of Congress and the President should be accountable for that regardless of party. It doesn't have to be that way.
Here's what the Democrats should do. Reach out directly to the White House and express a desire to help the President deliver on his campaign promise of delivering something terrific. Acknowledge that Obamacare needs improving and promise to deliver a bipartisan solution that can save Trump's failing presidency. Stroke the President's ego that he can be a great uniter and achieve bipartisan support in a way that Obama never could. Yes, the Republican congress was the main culprit of that relationship but Democrats you need to get over it for the good of the country on this issue. There are plenty of other issues to dig your heels in. Put politics aside when it comes to healthcare. People's lives and livelihood depend on it. Don't gamble that Republicans will ultimately fail. Be part of the solution. So what if it gives Trump a victory? If you can't come together as a party to beat Trump in 2020, what good are you?
Republicans, here is what you can do. Put optics and semantics aside and do what's right. Forget this fetish with "repealing and replacing" Obamacare. Do what's right and improve Obamacare. Call it just that. Right now you are being held hostage by the Freedom Caucus which is an oxymoron if there ever was one. Embrace Democratic support and come up with a new and improved healthcare plan that builds and improves on the current one. The end result will be a huge victory for the American people and you'll probably save some congressional seats in 2018.
Unfortunately, here is what will happen. Democrats will stand firm in their opposition to the bill. If the bill fails, they are victorious and the Republicans look like a hot mess in their inability to pass a bill when they control both houses of Congress and the White House. If the bill passes, they can capitalize on the public backlash sure to follow. It's a win-win for the party. However, it's a lose-lose for the American people. If you want to put country before party, here's your chance.
Republicans will continue to shut out the Democrats and try to pass any bill that can gain 50 votes. They will take the path of least resistance in trying to cobble together the votes from dissenting alt-righters and the more moderate members of the party. Republicans are seeking a victory in any form regardless of whether or not it is good for the American people.
This is not the way to govern nor is it how this country has operated for most of its existence. Compromise and bipartisanship has worked efficiently and productively throughout our history. It's time to get back to that. What better time than now when so much is at stake and we are 10 days away from our nation's birthday.