|Prominent Freedom Caucus members who led the fight against the AHCA|
L-R: Chairman Mark Meadows (NC), Justin Amash (MI), Thomas Massie (KY), Raul Labrador (ID), Jim Jordan (OH)
After a lot of drama and negotiations this week over the Affordable Health Care Act, U.S. House leadership pulled the bill and canceled a vote on the measure. The ObamaCare
Congressman Mo Brooks (R-AL) of the Freedom Caucus called it “[O]ne of the worst bills I have seen in my 30 years as a county commissioner, legislator, district attorney and now congressman,”
After seven years of promising to "repeal and replace ObamaCare", Speaker Paul Ryan and President Trump came up with a lame excuse of a healthcare plan, with no full repeal, no full replacement, and essentially just tinkering around the edges.
Earlier in the week, it looked like the bill would pass, with a lot of strong-arming from leadership and pressure from Trump and Vice President Mike Pence. Even Oklahoma's Jim Bridenstine (a Freedom Caucus member) caved and lent his support late Wednesday night - although I imagine he might regret that decision now.
However, most Freedom Caucus members held firm in their opposition, and after the vote was postponed to today, then to this afternoon, other more moderate Republicans began to bail. Now, it appears that House Republicans may be moving on from healthcare reform altogether, rather than taking up the repeal bill passed with almost unanimous Republican support just last year that President Obama then vetoed.
From Allahpundit at HotAir: "So … that’s it? An ill-conceived two-month effort in the House falls short and Republicans throw in the towel on seven years of trying to replace ObamaCare? The White House doesn’t want to offer its own alternative? McConnell has nothing in the pipeline he might want to suggest?"
After the bill was pulled, President Trump told news reporter Robert Costa "No, I don’t [regret starting his agenda with healthcare], but in a way I’m glad I got it out of the way."
After posting that quote, Allahpundit continued: "You’re glad you “got it out of the way”? Republican voters handed them the House in 2010, the Senate in 2014, and the White House in 2016, and we got exactly 63 days of meaningful effort to unseat O-Care."
Here's what Erick Erickson said at TheResurgent about this:
The House Freedom Caucus just saved the Republican Party from itself and saved the United States from a Republican attempt to just do something on health care no matter how bad that something might be.Like I said earlier this month, Republicans were elected to power based on the promise of full repeal. We expect nothing less than full repeal. Republican member of Congress need to keep their promise, and pass full repeal of ObamaCare.
They stood on principle and are being assailed for it by the Republican establishment.
The legislation was deeply flawed and would have hurt a great many Americans. It would have made it harder for free market solutions to lower costs in health care and would have harmed senior citizens.
Obamacare is a terrible piece of legislation and Republicans promised for seven years to repeal it. The American Health Care Act embraced Obamacare and kept it. The House Freedom Caucus stood up both to the Republican leadership in Congress and President Trump and demanded promises made be promises kept. They also exposed Republicans as having no intention of ever really repealing Obamacare.
In 2015, Republicans passed a plan through Congress that would have repealed Obamacare. All the people who voted for it are still there. It passed the House and Senate. That should have been the starting framework. But like the dog that caught the car, Republicans did not know what to do once they finally had the House, Senate, and Presidency.
Their first reaction was to abandon their small government principles and free market beliefs to prop up a government run health care scheme. The only people who stood up for the free market and the people are members of the House Freedom Caucus. They are owed our thanks.
Lastly, I should note that the only reason we have a House Freedom Caucus is because John Boehner led an establishment coup of the Republican Study Committee. The once great organization converted into an organization that rubber stamps the agenda of leadership with elaborate kabuki theater to make it seem like the outcome was in jeopardy when it never was. Sadly, the RSC’s behavior in this proves the House Freedom Caucus is still needed.
Republicans need accountability partners, not yes men. Mark Meadows, Jim Jordan, and the House Freedom Caucus are brave to shoulder the weight of accountability when others wish they would serve as yes men. They have done well today.
If they don't follow through, then what is the point in electing them?