How Dead Is The Obamacare Repeal?

Not dead enough.

The House Freedom Caucus — the conservative group that sunk House Republicans’ Obamacare replacement last month — has officially endorsed a new compromise on the bill, delivering a fresh burst of momentum to the GOP’s efforts to do away with the Democratic health care law.

The group of three-dozen lawmakers said in a statement that an agreement negotiated by caucus Chairman Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) and centrist Tuesday Group co-Chairman Tom MacArthur (R-N.J.) assuaged their previous concerns about the bill. The White House has been pressing Republicans to broker a compromise.

The Trump administration’s frantic finagling to pull off something, anything that they can point to as an accomplishment before Day 100 strikes again. Hence the similar push for comprehensive tax reform – another simple, stress-free operation that can be pulled off in days. Why didn’t anyone try it before? (The president’s basic understanding of the latter issue, at least, is not in doubt. He wants his family businesses and the one-percenters to fill the federal government’s coffers as little as is politically possible.)

The viability of either venture is far from assured. Gaining the House Freedom Caucus’ assent on health care may alienate centrists in the GOP, and while slashing taxes appears to be a surer thing with a Republican-controller Congress, never underestimate Trump’s unique proclivity for turning gold into shit.

Still – and this applies to his presidency as a whole – complacency should be avoided at all costs.

(Year Zero/Day Ninety-Seven)

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