For a while, Donald Trump was a fan of the House Republicans’ far-right health care bill, until it became unpopular, at which point the president discarded it. The House proposal, Trump decided, was “mean” and “cold-hearted.”
Which led to the Senate Republicans’ bill, which Trump also liked, until it couldn’t pass, at which point the president endorsed a different bill. As recently as Monday night, Trump threw his support behind a “repeal and delay” proposal, in which Congress would repeal the Affordable Care Act now and then come up with an alternative plan in two years.
Yesterday, Trump changed gears again, saying he wants to ”let Obamacare fail,” which he insisted would be “easier” than Republicans trying to legislate on the issue.
“I will be having lunch at the White House today with Republican Senators concerning healthcare. They MUST keep their promise to America!
“The Republicans never discuss how good their healthcare bill is, & it will get even better at lunchtime.”
There’s no shortage of problems with this, including Trump’s own broken promises on health care, and the irony of him complaining about Republicans “never discussing” the merits of a plan he hasn’t read, doesn’t understand, and has made no effort to promote.
But even putting that aside, it’s hard not to notice that the president’s approach to health care has changed repeatedly – including three different positions from Monday night to Wednesday morning.
Trump liked the House bill and then he didn’t. He liked the Senate bill and then he didn’t. He liked “repeal and delay” – a policy he rejected in January – and then he didn’t. He liked letting the current system “fail” on purpose, only to rediscover his interest in the Senate bill.
The combination of presidential ignorance and incoherence goes a long way in explaining why the Republicans’ health care initiative hasn’t gone especially well.