Trump fails his duty by backtracking on healthcare – Washington Examiner

Just days after President Trump said the White House finally is crafting an Obamacare replacement of its own, he backtracked on Tuesday. There will be no vote this Congress on any major healthcare reform. His backtracking came after panicky congressional Republicans begged him not to push healthcare as a major issue in the next two years.

Apparently, the legislators think that any time Republicans focus on healthcare, they will lose elections. This is nonsense. Republicans lose on healthcare when they cede the field to Democrats, as they did in 2018. When Republicans actively take the fight to liberals on the subject, as they did during the heady days of the Tea Party movement, they gain ground.

More than that, the purpose of electing a president and Congress is to have them govern. Even if it’s a long shot to pass anything decent, it behooves elected leaders to, well, lead on big issues such as this one by putting forward thoughtful proposals. This is especially so for a president who has the “bully pulpit” to try to educate voters and build support for his plan.

That’s why I praised Trump for his vow last week to make healthcare reform a priority. But now the White House is giving conflicting signals about whether it will even produce legislation to replace Obamacare, much less try to secure votes on it.

This is a failure of leadership. No matter what congressional nervous Nellies say, it’s also politically stupid. If Republicans aren’t out there with a plan, and with clear, concise sales pitches for why it will help most Americans, then the only thing voters will hear is Democrats scaring them about how those mean, awful Republicans want to pinch pennies so that a granny dies from every minor cold.

Democrats will push that message regardless, as they did in 2018. And so Republicans need their own positive message to counteract it, which they lacked in 2018.

Again, though, politics aside, America can and should have a better, less costly, less bureaucratic healthcare system. If Trump isn’t even going to try to provide it in the next two years, then what’s the point of his presidency?

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