AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) – NewsChannel 6’s Political Science expert broke down what happened on Capitol Hill. Despite passionate arguments on both sides of the political aisle, it wasn’t enough to vote up or down the repeal and replace of the Affordable Care Act.
Augusta University’s Craig Albert told us either way, it was going to be a win-win for the president.
“He wants to make sure that everybody knows that he’s doing what he has to do to make sure that this passes or doesn’t pass. He made his commitment that he was going to make Congress take action on this,” Albert said.
Congress tried but their efforts were no match for the President’s power in the final hour.
“This is heartless. Human decency demands a no vote on Trump Care,” said Rep. Marcia Fudge,D-Ohio.
Rep. Mike Conaway, R-Texas, also shared thoughts at the microphone.
“Do we keep Obamacare and the failure that is confronting us and will continue to be there or do we take a chance to move toward something different, moving towards freedom, moving towards choice, giving states back the opportunity to decide on their indigent population how should they take care of them?”
President Trump pulled the bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act just as House members closed their final arguments.
“Doesn’t every American deserve treatment like members of congress?” said Rep. Frederica Wilson, D-Florida:
“We are living today in a world with sky rocking costs, plummeting choices, broken promises across the board,” Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyoming, said.
Albert told us philosophy is at the core of dismantling a healthcare law that’s been in place more than half a decade.
“They cannot compromise on it. The original Obamacare bill was 2,000 pages long. There are so many policies, so many topics, so many types of taxes,” he explained.
And even in Trump’s own party there’s a civil war going on between moderates saying it goes too far and the other side saying it doesn’t.
“You have the ultra-conservative or what we call the freedom caucus in the Republican Party saying it doesn’t go far enough, the new bill, it doesn’t go far enough to repeal and completely get rid of and eradicate all points in Obamacare,” Albert explained.
Albert said progressives argue the bill widens the wealth gap.
“The proposed bill, for instance, gets rid of the stipends that Obamacare has in there. To be fair to the Republicans, it does replace those with some tax revenue, but only up to about $4,000,” he said.
He also claimed some conservatives want to dismantle Obama’s legacy. But he said the core of the issue is President Trump taking charge.
“He’s the president. He wants to set the precedent. He wants to set the tone. By setting a date, he’s letting you know that he’s in charge, he’s the leader, he’s the president of the United States. By doing that he kind of owns the message in marketing terms, in PR terms. He sets the tone for the entire debate so if it loses, he can say well Congress couldn’t get it together.”
Professor Albert also stated had the legislation passed in the House Friday, the bill would have gone to the Senate and that could have taken more time before any action took place.