John Boehner was a year away from becoming speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives in 2010, but he stood on the floor of the House to express his intense anger at his Democratic colleagues.
They were rushing the Affordable Care Act into law, the then-House minority leader declared. Democrats were shoving this “down our throats,” he hollered. He bellowed that no one had “read the bill!”
The ACA passed with no Republican votes.
Now the GOP is in charge of Congress. Boehner became speaker in 2011 and served until 2015. Republicans sought to repeal the ACA many times during Boehner’s tenure. They failed.
Now it’s Paul Ryan’s House. Speaker Ryan is working with a Republican president to enact something called the American Health Care Act.
What is the GOP strategy being mapped out by Ryan and Donald Trump. Why, they’re trying to rush this to a vote. They’re trying to “shove this down the throats” of conservative lawmakers who oppose it. They aren’t bothering to persuade Democrats, who are lined up en masse to oppose the AHCA, just as the GOP locked arms against the ACA in 2010.
Is it good enough now for Republicans to do the very thing they accused Democrats — with good reason, candidly — of doing?
Of course it isn’t!
The president declared that repealing and replacing the ACA was his top priority. The House was supposed to vote tonight on the AHCA. Ryan backed away from the vote. It’s now scheduled for Friday.
The president says a Friday vote — up or down — will be the end of his negotiating a replacement for the ACA. He said today he’s going to “move on” to other issues. Whether he does will depend on who gets to him. Trump does have this way of changing his mind.
Has there been sufficient comment and analysis on this Republican alternative to ACA, which was trotted out less than a month ago?
Nope. Not even close.
One difference between now and 2010: You aren’t going to hear the current House minority leader, Democrat Nancy Pelosi, screaming on the House floor about not having enough time to consider this health care insurance replacement. Rep. Pelosi is actually chuckling at what she calls the president’s “rookie mistakes.”
That’s the major difference. The tactics of today’s Republicans certainly resemble those employed by yesterday’s Democrats.