Donald Trump hailed it as an “unbelievable victory” Thursday after House Republicans narrowly passed their substitute for the foundering Affordable Care Act, better known as Obamacare. A number of GOP representatives bused over to the White House for a celebratory gathering with the president.
Lost amid the hoopla, however, is that the legislation still must get through the dysfunctional Senate.
Still, the measure finally represents progress in the Republican promise to repeal and replace Obamacare. The legislation contains a number of worthwhile provisions — it ends the mandate to purchase insurance and imposes a long-overdue overhaul on Medicaid in an effort to control costs — while providing billions for states to cover the costs of care for those with chronic medical conditions.
Bitter Democrats vowed that there would be political ramifications. “You vote for this bill, you’ll have walked the plank from moderate to radical,” seethed House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi. “You will glow in the dark on this one.”
Ms. Pelosi is, of course, an expert on political failure, having presided over record Democratic losses in the lower chamber since 2010. And it’s true that history tells us that the minority party generally performs well during midterm elections such as the one looming next year.
But while 2018 may present challenges for Republicans, the more immediate risk for many GOP incumbents was that internecine squabbling would lead to inaction, angering the voters who put them in office. Thursday’s House action is an indication that they are willing to act on their campaign promises.