“Paul Ryan Failed Because His Bill Was a Dumpster Fire….”

Me, at Politico, on the shambolic fate of the American Health Care Act.

There was a conspicuous smallness to this AHCA effort, a puzzling shoddiness given the human and political stakes. Many in the GOP, above all President Trump, seemed strangely uninterested in the policy details. To the extent Republicans did have an animating passion, it was to puncture President Obama’s legacy—and to avoid looking foolish by failing to honor their “repeal and replace” rhetoric.

Only they had no viable replacement. For all their endless warnings about how Obama’s signature health law was hurting American families, driving up costs and putting us on the path toward socialism, it turns out they didn’t care enough to put in the work.

More here. (Editor’s title).

Author: Harold Pollack

Harold Pollack is Helen Ross Professor of Social Service Administration at the University of Chicago. He has served on three expert committees of the National Academies of Science. His recent research appears in such journals as Addiction, Journal of the American Medical Association, and American Journal of Public Health. He writes regularly on HIV prevention, crime and drug policy, health reform, and disability policy for American Prospect, tnr.com, and other news outlets. His essay, "Lessons from an Emergency Room Nightmare" was selected for the collection The Best American Medical Writing, 2009. He recently participated, with zero critical acclaim, in the University of Chicago's annual Latke-Hamentaschen debate.

5 thoughts on ““Paul Ryan Failed Because His Bill Was a Dumpster Fire….””

  1. It gives me great satisfaction to complain about the New Yorker's spelling mistake in its justified headline:


    As American liberals sip their celebratory Chardonnay while nibbling unpasteurised Vacherin cheese on Finnish wholegrain rye crispbread, they should remember the CORRECT spelling for the next time. It's le débâcle.

    Even on capitals? Yes. The Académie Française has handed down its ruling from Olympus, and it is sans appel:

    Il convient cependant d'observer qu'en français, l'accent a pleine valeur orthographique. Son absence ralentit la lecture, fait hésiter sur la prononciation, et peut même induire en erreur. Il en va de même pour le tréma et la cédille.
    On veille donc, en bonne typographie, à utiliser systématiquement les capitales accentuées, y compris la préposition À, comme le font bien sûr tous les dictionnaires, à commencer par le Dictionnaire de l'Académie française, ou les grammaires, comme Le Bon Usage de Grevisse, mais aussi l'Imprimerie nationale, la Bibliothèque de la Pléiade, etc.

    I know, I know, the New Yorker's problem is that they have devised their own weird headline typeface with non-standard widths and kerning. and a proper character set was too much trouble. Would Harold Ross have stood for this? You can get dozens of Middle-Earth typefaces for Tengwar, and they have all the diacritics built in. Sauron didn't leave any out of his inscription on the One Ring, did he? As Paul Ryan has found out, getting stuff right, even in an evil cause, is a right pain at times.

  2. That opinion piece in Politico is a keeper, Harold. Thank you for linking to it here.

    Kevin Drum posted a very short version of the same yesterday, quoting Rep. Joe Barton (R-TX). Reporters asked Barton why, after Republicans held dozens of nearly-unanimous votes to repeal Obamacare under President Obama, they were getting cold feet now that they control the levers of power.

    “Sometimes you’re playing Fantasy Football and sometimes you’re in the real game,” he said. “We knew the president, if we could get a repeal bill to his desk, would almost certainly veto it. This time we knew if it got to the president’s desk it would be signed.”

    Governing is hard, apparently, when you actually have to govern.

  3. As with RhodesKen above, I think that the single most telling moment of this entire episode was Rep Joe Barton admitting in the open that all the previous votes for repeal were merely theatre. After all, saner Republicans must be fully aware that the ACA is keeping a sizable percentage of their own base alive…Something that I think started driving the Fox News narrative of criticism recently. One could easily imagine some level of impending panic in their executive offices recently:

    "Holy crap, this is going to reduce the purchasing power of our dominant audience demographic! Will no one think of the ADVERTISERS??!!'

  4. This is a comment: The Democrats need to have a well-crafted piece of legislation ready to go to the floor when problems arise with the ACA, especially when premiums rise. They need to be able to patch up the ACA's real problems with real solutions. I very much hope that if the ACA runs into problems and Trump says that it has "exploded," that the Democrats will have something solid to take to him and say, "We know all about it. Here is how you fix it."

    This is a question: What form should that legislation take? What provisions should be replaced, and what provisions should replace them? Has such legislation been drafted?

    Details would be greatly appreciated. I do not know this stuff and want to hear from someone who does.

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