Those Of You Who Think Republicans Aren’t Going To Try To Ram A Horrible Health Care Bill Through In The Next 2 Weeks, Forget About It!

Yes, things have been quiet over the past week. But we think that’s being misinterpreted as a sign of imminent defeat.

We think it’s been quiet because: 1) The President’s been in Europe, 2) Everybody else has been on vacation.

And think about when you come back from vacation: you feel refreshed, rejuvenated, maybe even a little angry that you had to come back to work, right? Not demoralized. Fired up.

This definitely falls into the “we really hope we’re wrong about this” category. And we certainly don’t have the certitude we did when it seemed like everybody else was celebrating the demise of the House bill. More Republicans, including Republican governors seem to be against it now. We’re just saying it ain’t over yet.

A couple of interesting things to consider:

• Over the break, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell managed the neat trick of pushing President Trump to the right of him. He brought up a scenario in which Republicans and Democrats work together on health reform. Not as something he favors, more as something he warns against. But he spoke about it frankly, and as a real possibility vs. Trump’s “Obamacare is dead” mantra.

• Democrats (even though they won’t say it publicly) would almost definitely work on a bill if it’s truly bipartisan. And it might end up being a pretty good bill. Even though we kind of think they should, Democrats won’t ultimately be as obstructionist as their friends across the aisle have been if they feel they can do some good. And the President has said he wants Democrats involved, only so far his definition of involvement means either voting for the Republican plan in which they had no say, or coming back to him in shame and defeat after Obamacare “explodes” (we still think he means “implodes.”)

So progress might be as simple, or as difficult as Trump getting on board with the idea that a “win” on health care might be created through bipartisanship, not through one side crushing the other. But so far he hasn’t really been on board for any win that doesn’t involve a loser getting severely punished.

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(This story originally appeared in The Chaos Report newsletter.

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