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Monday, January 16, 2017

Obama sets the Trump agenda

Like it or not, former President Barack Obama has set the legislative agenda for Donald Trump and the Republican Congress. The nation needs affordable healthcare. Obama tried to accomplish that with the Affordable Care Act aka Obamacare.

Republicans didn't like the legislated solution. In fact, right-wing Republicans don't want the government to address the need at all, favoring the free-market and survival of the fittest.  That didn't work.

Obamacare was not a perfectly crafted solution, and everyone, including Democrats, know that. There are several starting positions represented among those in power:

1. Do nothing
2. Repeal and replace
3. Let it stand with repairs

Donald Trump knows that doing nothing is not an option. The GOP-led Congress is so callus that it suggested repealing without a ready replacement. That would victimize tens of million.

Correctly, Trump identifies the pharmaceutical cost component of health care as a target for reduction. He thinks that the government can address that through price negotiations with the industry, combined with reduced regulations and liability reduction. That is a viable course of action.

Trump's theme is "insurance for everybody" That may sound like socialism to some, not that there is anything wrong with that. With Trump, it is always the absence of details or the presence of some that create consternation.

A nation cannot live by tweets alone, nor by advertising themes and headlines. If Trump and his HHS director can deliver a complete working package to Congress on which it must act, Obama may declare victory, especially if it addresses the needs and the solution model projects better metrics. Wait to see.

Obama set the wheels in motion

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