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The Obamacare Repeal Tightrope

             7/20/2017

Rand Paul and Trump

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 

In 1974 Philippe Petit performed a high-wire walk in New York City. For almost an hour he carefully walked a tightrope between the Twin towers. An incredible feat such as this required Patience, focus, and endurance. These Traits are usually associated with men like Phillipe and people who perform incredibly difficult tasks. Today in 2017 we are witnessing an even more incredible feat.

President Trump, a President with no prior political experience, is trying to repeal Obamacare. At face value, this seems like a normal task for a president and nothing out of the ordinary, but this political quagmire is anything but. The Republicans have a 52-48 majority, which means The Republicans have to use a parliamentary trick known as reconciliation to avoid a filibuster, already narrowing what the repeal bill can entail.

If repealing the ACA with 52 Republicans was not a volatile political situation already, it does not help that the GOP has never been more divided. The majority of GOP senators have sided with whatever legislation the leadership has put forward(as did most House representatives) but that has still not been enough to get the 50 votes required in the Senate. The reason Repeal is so difficult has everything to do with ideology. The two competing wings of the GOP have views that cannot co-exist. The moderate wing led by Sen. Susan Collins of Maine believes the Senate healthcare bill is too conservative, and would rather try and fix the ACA. The conservative wing led by Conservative favorite Rand Paul of Kentucky believe that the bill is just a repackaged Obamacare that will fail and hurt Republicans. These views cannot both be represented in a piece of legislation. The moderates have more in common with Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren then they do with Rand Paul and Mike Lee. Both sides will not give in to the other, and no one should expect them to. Trump needs to work on this Rubix cube of a Senate and find a combination that gets 50 votes.

Even if Trump is able to repeal Obamacare(which would allow the GOP to move on to tax reform) this GOP split can not be fixed. Two opposing points of views are competing for the heart and soul of the Republican Party, one has to win out, and the other will die out.

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