Republicans never thought to pretend that Trumpcare would be “terrific” and fix the things voters don’t like about the Affordable Care Act — high deductibles, unchecked premiums and the insurance mandate — because they knew any replacement they offered would have higher deductibles and less help from the government to pay premiums
The GOP disaster in failing to pass the health care measure called into question Trump’s ability to get other key parts of his agenda, including tax cuts and a boost in infrastructure spending, through a Congress controlled by his own party.
Instead of exhibiting political discipline or party unity, the arch right-wing House Freedom Caucus has demanded a series of increasingly draconian measures in the Trumpcare legislation to secure their votes — proving that they, not Speaker Ryan and certainly not Trump, control the process.
The House Freedom Caucus has shown conservatives the far right can have an impact on the legislative process. But don’t expect a similar group to spring up in the Senate; they already have one. Sort of.
If conservatives win the White House, they’ll have the power of the nation’s highest court to go along with both houses of Congress and more state legislative seats than at any time since before the Great Depression. This week, they finally acted as if they actually understand this.