I thought this statement was kind of fascinating. A reporter asks “Representative Chris Collins (R-NY) to give her just one example of Trump trying to work with Democrats.”
Collins: [President Trump] has had Democrat senators into the White House time and again, early on, talking about health care, attempting –
Tur: In what way did he reach out? Give me one way he reached out on healthcare other than a conversation?
Collins: It starts with conversation, and he was shut down immediately by Senator Schumer and the others, in saying that they weren't going to support anything called a repeal of Obamacare. They worked to put more money into the individual marketplace, but that was it. At which point he had no choice, but to turn to the Republicans, Mitch McConnell, Paul Ryan. We in the House sent a pretty darn good repeal and replace that didn't get through the Senate, but it takes two people and Senator Schumer –
So Trump “had no choice” but to work with McConnell and Ryan, who agreed with him that the ACA/Obamacare was hopelessly broken and needed to be torn down entirely and replaced wholesale. It wasn't that the Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer was stubborn, it was that Schumer didn't agree on the scope or the shape of the problem. Schumer felt that the problems with the ACA were small and fixable. Trump went with the far more dire and apocolyptic view pressed by the Republican Senate and House leaders. How did those two views end up being substantiated? Here's the view presented by Counselor to the President Kellyanne Conway in late July, after Trumpcare failed to win passage in the Senate:
CONWAY: The president will not accept those who said it's, quote, time to move on. He wants to help the millions of Americans who have suffered with no coverage. They were lied to by the last president. They couldn't keep the doctor. They couldn't keep their plan.
We’ve met with the ObamaCare victims at the White House several times now. They’re real people, they’re suffering.
Okay so first off, yes, Trumpcare had crashed and burned with unanimous Democratic “No” votes and three rock-solid Republican “No” votes in the Senate, so yes it was and still is “time to move on.”
Second, it's kind of interesting that Conway doesn't cite any problems that require tearing down health care coverage for 20-plus million people. All of the CBO estimates for all of the Republican replacement plans in both the House and Senate called for removing at least 20 million people from their ACA health care plans. Trump apparently just wanted to extend coverage to even more people.
Were the American people lied to by President Obama? Well, that “they couldn't keep their plans” was pretty obvious to anyone who was seriously following the debate over the ACA in the first place. If you had crummy, inadequate individual coverage that had really high deductivles and lots of rules you had to follow in order to make a successful claim, then yes, such plans couldn't be kept. The ACA insisted that plans had to be comprehensive and had to cover a variety of health conditions and deductions were lmited by regulations. The prior individual coverage was good if you were young and healthy and were unlikely to ever make a claim and only really cared about the price you were paying.
Very interesting that Conway feels the need to assert that “Obamacare victims” were “real people.” Apparently, they had to search for people who weren't covered and their numbers appear to have been so small that Conway feels the need to assert that there were indeed such meetings.
Okay, so what about people on the other side of the question, people who urged a “No” vote on ACA repeal? How did ordinary citizens react to the failure of Trumpcare? Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) was one of the three Republican “No” votes and her return to Maine was described in a local paper:
Friday morning, as she wearily walked off her plane at Bangor International Airport, Collins stepped out into a terminal gate packed with passengers waiting to board their outbound flight.
She recognized no one. But several of them recognized her and began to applaud.
Within seconds, the whole terminal was clapping, many people rising to their feet as their sleep-deprived senator passed.
Never before, throughout her two decades and 6,300 votes in the Senate, had Collins received such a spontaneous welcome home.
“It was absolutely extraordinary,” she said. “It was just so affirming of what happens when you do the right thing.”
So yeah, sounds to me as though Trump was given bum information by the Republican House and Senate leaders. Had the amateur president any real knowledge of the situation or the ability to separate BS from real facts, he might have gone with Schumer and the Democrats to achieving a real solution to a real problem.