|AKA GOP |
"Surreal" might also apply. Just last week, President Trump disavowed a House of Representatives version of Obamacare repeal that passed in early May. He said it was "mean." Yet a month ago he was celebrating its passage in the House with a Rose Garden ceremony, vowing that "we want to brag about this plan." Trump's surrogate in South Dakota, U.S. Representative Kristi Noem voted for its passage, saying the bill "reflected" the vision based "on the proposal we've been working on with President Trump." Does Noem now share Trump's retrospective regrets about the bill and join in with the President, condemning the House product as "mean?" I imagine she'll clam up on this one, even though she's been reflexively following his lead and his rhetoric on ending Obamacare every step of the way.
Now that repealing and replacing ACA has been defaulted to the Senate, there isn't much clarity about the contents of the proposal in that chamber, either. Long promised by President Trump, he repeatedly vowed to make repeal a "day one" priority, saying to a crowd in Florida just before the election "it's going to be so easy." And how easy has it so far been in its political incubator in the Senate? It's impossible to say. There's no public dialogue about what the Senators are considering. Our Senator John Thune claims that the internal "working group" meetings are "open to anybody," which doesn't square with reports that numerous healthcare organizations (the American Cancer Society, the Muscular Dystrophy Association--groups like that, about 120 of them) have been rebuffed in their efforts to meet with Senators working on the bill.
If the deliberations are as transparent as Thune claims, why are these organizations that are clamoring to be a legitimate part of the conversation being turned away? South Dakotans have every reason and right to get a sense of how our essential healthcare options are likely to be affected by discussions in the Senate. Leaving all of us dangling like this is a poor excuse for representation.