President Trump’s Health Care ‘Win’ Is as Shallow and Fraudulent as Everything Else About Him


In a world where voters could be trusted to make sensible decisions based on long-term considerations, I would want Obamacare repealed at almost any cost and replaced with just about anything which is significantly less focused on the federal government’s role in healthcare. However, we all know that, if we ever lived in such a place, we certainly don’t reside there anymore.

Therefore, I see what President Trump and the GOP passed yesterday in the House of Representatives as a complete sham, which will likely eventually cause great damage to the Republican Party, the cause of more efficient healthcare, and the country itself.

Let’s be clear. This vote was a contrived joke at every level. The bill was thrown together with absurd haste. We don’t even know what the CBO score on it is. It doesn’t even try to accomplish some of the key things the president said he wanted in a bill. Congressmen who voted for it are even admitting that they didn’t even bother to read it. And the Senate has already made it very clear that they aren’t even going to vote on it.

Here’s what REALLY happened. Trump was embarrassed by the first aborted attempt to get a healthcare bill through the GOP House and was just forced to watch his 100-day mark pass with no notable legislative accomplishments, despite unprecedented campaign promises and control of both chambers. He also just got badly spanked in the budget negotiations.

In short, the King was angry and Speaker Paul Ryan was forced to get him a “win” of some kind. This vote was like the frustrated owner of a losing football team calling down to the sidelines and forcing the coach to call the owner’s favorite trick play, simply for his own personal enjoyment.

This was basically proven by the ridiculous celebration event which Trump hosted at the White House. It was so premature and out of touch with reality that it was like an older couple at a fertility clinic toasting the arrival of their new baby at the moment when the man hands the nurse the cup with his sample in it.

The specific bill is never going to become law. Everyone (other than maybe Trump, who seems to be under the delusion that it may already be a law) knows this. Heck, that understanding is a big part of the reason that this bill was, just barely, able to pass.

All the House GOP did here was cobble together enough incompatible pieces of candy to entice most of its members to vote yes so that the King could have his “victory” party, con his base into thinking he’s actually DONE something, and enjoy some decent headlines for a day. But the worst part of this fraud is that, as is often the case with all things Trump-related, there will be a potentially VERY high price which others will eventually pay so that the King could feel good about himself for a brief moment.

I’m always wary, especially now in the Trump era, of buying into the conventional political wisdom about almost anything. While Democrats — who sang “Goodbye” to Republican members after the vote — may be dangerously overconfident however, there is no doubt that Trump has done “his” party no favors by forcing its House members to make this vote for his own amusement.

Because the bill is both largely unpopular and such a hodgepodge of nonsense, it will be particularly easy to demagogue to independent voters in a mid-term elections. It will also further jazz-up the liberal base who will feel as if one of the sacred “rights” has either been taken away, or is about to be.

The reason Republicans mostly went along with this fraud is because, as bad as it might get for them next year because they voted for this, it might have been even worse for them if they didn’t. Mid-term elections are increasingly about how enthusiastic each team’s base is. Without at least SOMETHING to prove they made a legitimate effort to repeal the dreaded Obamacare, the GOP could have been just a few angry tweets from Trump telling his cult members to stay home away from total catastrophe.

Obviously the mid-terms are still, in political terms, light years away. However, there is now a direct path for yesterday’s vote to backfire in the worst way possible and for liberals to end up winning bigger on the healthcare issue than they ever could have possibly dreamed of under a President Hillary Clinton.

Should this bill die in the Senate or in a conference committee, and Democrats take control of the House next year, it is very likely that Trump, fearing impeachment, and seeing Obamacare in a death spiral, would conspire with them to give us essentially single-payer or “universal” healthcare coverage. Eerily, Trump, ominously and probably completely cluelessly, even effectively endorsed such a result while meeting with the Australian Prime Minister after the big vote.

Before Trump made those chilling comments, Fox’s Charles Krauthammer predicted that, because Obamacare has created the impression that cheap healthcare is everyone’s God-given right, we are about seven years from healthcare being completely run by the government. If I had to make a bet on that proposition, I would sadly take the “under,” largely because of yesterday’s ill-advised vote which only pretended to try to take us back in the other direction.

It would be such “perfect” way for this to all end if Trump’s most impactful legislative moment comes not when he repeals Obamacare, but rather when he gives liberals even more government-run healthcare than Barack Obama ever thought possible.

John Ziegler hosts a weekly podcast focusing on news media issues and is documentary filmmaker. You can follow him on Twitter at @ZigManFreud or email him at

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