As of now, I am in control here, in the White House

Trump’s Relentless Pressure Forced the Health Care Win

The House is led by a man, Speaker Paul Ryan, who is very smart and very rational. That doesn’t always get results.

While Ryan was doing what seemed to be the perfectly reasonable thing, counting lawmakers’ votes, President Trump was counting votes of a different kind: The number of votes that had been taken on the floor of the House on Obamacare repeal. The number was, zero. Zero votes.

What Trump, who is also very smart but does not always act so rational — sometimes on purpose — understood is that it’s very easy for people to say, No, this is my place in the road, and I’m not budging from it. But once those headlights are bearing down on you . . .

Ryan hastily scheduled a vote because the White House kept demanding it and Congress was about to leave town. Thursday was the last day, and so, under relentless pressure from Trump and White House Cheif of Staff Reince Priebus, who was desperate to get a health care win to ensure a little job security, a vote was scheduled for Thursday.

It is only when Republicans sensed that they were actually going to have to vote on the bill — when they saw the headlights coming — that they fell into line and got out of the way. They faced voting to preserve Obamacare and potentially ruining Trump’s presidency, so they found reasons to support the measure.

Like another $8 billion to help guarantee care for those with pre-existing conditions, the deal that brought along Rep. Fred Upton and some GOP moderates. Seriously, $8 billion and this sprawling legislation suddenly okay? I think Upton just felt the pressure.

And pressure he got. According to Politico:

Sitting in the Oval Office Tuesday evening, Trump dialed Upton in his congressional office. The president raised his voice and swore at Upton several times during a 10-minute conversation, sources familiar with the call said. But Upton stood his ground. He explained that he, like Trump, wanted to ensure people with pre-existing conditions were protected, even quoting the president verbatim talking about the need to do so.

Upton didn’t stand his ground. I’m sure that’s the spin coming from the House. Trump bruised him up and then threw him an $8 billion bone and Upton caved.

“They kept saying, ‘You need to vote! You need to call the vote!’ But we were trying to give this space and time to develop as opposed to a pressure cooker,” said one House Republican aide. “We needed to let this play out a little bit. But the White House just couldn’t let this go.”

Well, it was the pressure cooker that worked. Upton hinted a couple of days ago that his conversation with Trump was unpleasant. He felt the pressure. It was a tactic, though nothing personal. Trump, as a businessman, once went into a tirade on the phone, hung up, and then calmly asked an observer, “Do you think it worked?”

It worked.

Upton and Trump convened at the White House on Wednesday for a much more pleasant meeting. “The president was happy to sign off on their deal,” one senior administration official familiar with the meeting said. “It was all peace and love.”

17 Responses to Trump’s Relentless Pressure Forced the Health Care Win

  1. Good assessment, Keith. The central overall issue here is leadership. Trump has developed and honed his leadership skills over years of work experience. He can work a deal, a crowd or a person, both friendly and unfriendly. There’s a certain magic in all that, and the very best leaders have the right touch. Doesn’t mean they are always on the right side of issues because, in fact, they are not. History teaches us that. But the ability to rally, motivate and activate other people is a special skill set that neither Ryan nor McConnell seem to have.
    Ryan’s skill set is accounting, numbers, budgets. No doubt he’s a fine accountant, but his leadership skills–successfully rallying people around a purpose, a goal, an objective–are not well developed. That’s why he’s got the House flopping all over the place, divided, with lots of internal squabbles, as we know. The Progressive D’s see all that, and take advantage of him and, effectively, the American people. McConnell, to round out Republican leadership in the Congress, is far too inscrutable, inarticulate and suspicious-acting for other Senate members or the American people to trust. There is no detectable genuine leadership skill in him.

    Going to the D’s, the only reason the peculiar Schumer and Pelosi team seem to rally their people to the correct side of issues is that the legacy, corporate media worship them, carry their water, and agree with what these two dolts say about everything. In a fair and objective media climate, they would be both be laughed at, mocked and derided for the fools they are.

    So there we are.

    • I admit I do not understand much about the American healthcare system but I have at least understood ( from reading about it here ) that some reforms are needed. And I did like what I saw yesterday of Trumps handling of the issue. Seemed like he brought people together, one way or the other, and got some result. But on Ryan I agree with Grace. I too think that he is a snake in disguise.

      • SL, polls taken before Obamacare showed the then-existing heath care delivery in the US had about an 88 percent approval rate. Most people were perfectly happy with their healthcare. It was affordable, somewhat market-based to keep costs low and immediately available.

        For those uninsured people, there were many other sources, foundations, bill-cancellation or greatly reduced bills which were readily available. Under a law passed in 1986 (if I have the date right) anyone needing emergency care was to be properly treated even if they had no money or insurance whatsoever.

        Now the polls show about a 45 percent approval rate for ObamaCare. With ObamaCare, the life expectancy rates in the US have begun to drop because some people can’t afford the massively increased premiums anymore, and were avoiding needed medical examinations and treatment.

        Even Jonathan Gruber, an architect of ObamaCare, admitted before a group (and was caught on tape) that they lied about ObamaCAre to fool the public get the Congress to make it law. No Republicans were allowed in the rooms where the details of ObamaCare were being deliberated, and Nancy Pelosi went so far as to change the locks on the doors of these rooms so no Republican could enter the room to participate. Gruber said ObamaCare was designed to ultimately fail by collapsing the insurance companies, and thus create an entrance for government “we’ll save you!” one payer healthcare insurance.

        There’s a lot more to the ObamaCare mess, but that gives you a flavor.

    • Hate to disagree with you. Ryan has skillfully foisted a massive budget that could be the fulfillment of Obama’s dreams, yet Trump did nothing. Why? We saw the EPA get increased funding-no cuts.

      We saw Puerto Rico bailed out by 990 billion, which has not been discussed. One third of Americans are now on some form of welfare.

      So how does a accountant without people skills accomplish this? Or perhaps the better question is how long the American people will be the victim of DC’s vampire class.

  2. My, my, my. LBJ has returned to the WhiteHouse.
    Famous (or notorious) for his cajoling, begging, threatening, promising anything to get the votes for what he thought was right, he was a success.
    The Deal. How to close the Deal is MrTrump’s life experience.

  3. Wouldn’t it be great if this passes the Senate with no demo voting for it? That way they could cry and find out what it feels like to be left out of the process. Who knows if it will an improvement or not. Just a side note, how did everyone jump on Kimmel’s emotional speech about his child, when too many ppl demand abortions? Guess it’s only worthy once the child’s out of the womb.

    • and whether the child’s parents are Democrats or Republicans and the whole other list of people –blacks/whites — citizens/illegals — refugees/Americans . You know that list.

  4. thanks Keith. Helpful and informative.

    This is what screams out and enrages me:

    “Ryan hastily scheduled a vote because the White House kept demanding it and Congress was about to leave town. Thursday was the last day…” and this “They kept saying, ‘You need to vote! You need to call the vote!’ But we were trying to give this space and time to develop as opposed to a pressure cooker,”

    Always at the final hour. Always in the dead of night.

    No sympathy for these whiners whatsoever. They had 7 years, 7 years to get this right — the wording, the strategy etc. And now they are going to drag this out in stages and in the end it will not be what it should be because they are too lazy, too afraid, too power hungry and will never take too much from the Democrats even if it is for the good of the country.

    I am not happy with this bill. But it is something. God only know what will be left of it when Schumer takes his pound of flesh from McConnell who has a lifetime supply of white flags.

    Thank God for Donald Trump. Without him they would have done nothing except sit on their thumbs whining until their August vacation rolled around.

    7 years. A pox on them all, especially Paul Ryan,

        • SWL and NM — Ryan is at the top of my list and has been for some time. He is a snake. Remember all this “Oh no I couldn’t possibly be SOH, followed by Oh well, but only if I am at home every weekend to be with my kids. Now, unspoken but next up, Moi? You want Moi? to be President? By that time his kids might be in college or private school and we’ll have to pay the tuition. Yeah, he’s a slick one.

  5. Mark Steyn said today that Paul Ryan is trying to put the face of Trump on the Ryan agenda — I thought, “Bingo.”

  6. Ryan may be smart and rational. I don’t know.
    I think he is conniving.
    I believe there are skeletons lurking in his closet – bones
    (or boners?!?! I’ve heard rumors about him sneaking into a dorm…) that are holding him hostage to globalist intentions.
    Just like most people in our government are held hostage by those power brokers who hold sway over the deep and dark secrets of others.
    Of course that is just my opinion. I’m a nobody in nowhere land who reads a lot.
    Is President Trump the “real thing?” Just as the commercial used to ask about CocaCola – I have no idea. I rarely ever drank Coke and regarding Trump – it’s just too soon to tell.
    Today I have read all sorts of hysterical reactions to “Trumpcare.”
    Makes me resort to thinking about a line from a country western song: “God is great, beer is good and people are crazy.”
    To me…it is crazy to want government control over healthcare. For example, I do not want the government/insurance companies to declare rape a pre-existing condition.
    But I also don’t want my premium payments to support the abortion loving/baby part selling organization of planned parenthood.
    Few politicians and lobbyists are bonafide medical doctors.
    Most people are selfish.
    Some people will always fall outside the norms – that is why we are supposed to have charity for our fellow man.
    I don’t want the government to control any aspect of my personal life.
    But that’s just me.

  7. We have Trumpcare and now he’ll have to explain why it is no different from Obamacare.

    What a bad joke. Do any GOP elites believe the proles will turn out to vote for a big shitburger in 2018 and 2020.

    Given the budget the GOP is in major trouble since nothing Trump has promised has been delivered except for the unknown SCOTUS judge. And before you question the term unknown remember how GOP nominees always grow and mature into good little emperors once they ascend to Mt. Olympus.

  8. “We needed to let this play out a little bit.”

    Duh!! The GOP has been promising repeal-and-replace for seven freaking years. I think it’s ‘played out’ quite long enough. Thanks, Mr. Trump.