The repeal and replacement of the ACA was the major item of the Oval Office’s to do list and was one of the first executive orders signed by President Donald Trump. As the blame game now does the rounds of the Republicans the businessman must remember the famous plaque on President Harry S. Truman’s Oval Office desk; the buck stops here.


There was no real political reason for Paul Ryan’s bill to be withdrawn yesterday. The GOP holds the Oval Office and the majority in both the Senate and Congress and these on their own should have been enough to ensure passage of the legislation and the elimination of the hated Obamacare.

Donald Trump signed the order sure that his election victory would have overcome the divisions within his own Party but what happened only made the divisions wider, they also became much more public.

His insistence that a replacement be prepared as soon as possible effectively forced House Leader Paul Ryan to prepare the legislation in a short time and without consultation with the major players. This was a recipe for disaster.


The proposed Bill had two immediate effects. The first was to fuel the public protests against the repeal which forced some Republicans to abandon the town hall meetings and for many to begin worrying about next year’s midterms.

The second effect was to worsen the ideological feud between the Party’s factions and the result was three blocks of votes composed of those who accepted the legislation, those who thought it went too far and those who thought it would not go far enough.

This feud then became a public spectacle as the newspapers began to keep running tallies of the defectors which further angered President Trump who then began making diktats against the doubters. While this made the Congress even more doubtful, with a single seat majority it made defeat in the Senate a foregone conclusion.

This lack of consultation was then further highlighted when President Trump then blamed the one group that did nothing to defeat the legislation because that was not their job.


Following the withdrawal of the bill President Trump blamed the Democrats for the defeat as not one of them had supported it. This was a naive and revealing statement by the President and showed that he has not yet understood the nature of politics.

Without forgetting the fact the Democrats considered the Affordable Care Act one of their proudest achievements under Barack Obama, their job is to act as the opposition to the government thus to ensure that the faults of the bill were highlighted to the public and to the wavering Republicans.

Given the divisions within the GOP and the priority he gave it President Trump, assisted by Leader Paul Ryan, should have included Democrat Leaders in the consultation process for the new bill. This did not happen and the Democrats were simply happy to sit back and allow the Republicans to implode in a spectacular fashion.


The inordinate haste to keep the promise and the lack of planning were not the responsibility of Paul Ryan but of Donald Trump who thought that electoral victory was a rubber stamp to churn out orders and pieces of legislation with no opposition, including from within his own Party.

The threat on Thursday to vote on approve the bill on Friday or face its definitive withdrawal was not the action of an experienced politician but of a frustrated businessman whose customers were refusing to accept the incentives to close the deal.

The recalcitrant Republicans simply ignored his orders and stated they would oppose the bill, in effect weakening the standing of the Oval Office with their open defiance and the defeat was signalled by the pulling of the bill.

Now it is up the Donald Trump to understand the message from his erstwhile supporters. If he does not begin to change his manner of ordering the Party to blindly follow his instructions he better get used to the feeling of defeat because yesterday will only be a sample of his future.