AHCA in one amazing chart

From a new Urban Institute report via Chait:


I keep having various charts like this left up on my laptop when my 11-year old son gets on it and takes a look.  He is literally incredulous how anybody could be a Republican.  Even doing my best to be fair, he just cannot understand at all how this political party has any adherents except the very wealthy.  Then again, he’s also totally comfortable with minorities, empowered women, and gay people ;-).

No regrets

Some political scientists conducted a pretty interesting survey where they asked respondents if they would change their presidential vote if given the choice.  Among the Trump voters, very few regrets.  Via the Monkey Cage:

Who would vote differently?

On the next screen, we asked everyone, “Suppose you could go back in time and vote again in the November election. What would you do?”

Respondents were presented with the same choices — Trump, Clinton, Stein, Johnson, someone else, or not vote at all. Of the 339 poll participants who originally voted for Trump, only 12 (3½ percent) said they would do something different.

Only three individuals (fewer than 1 percent of Trump voters) said that, could they go back in time, they would cast their vote for Clinton. Seven said they would vote for one of the minor-party candidates.

When we asked why, most regretful Trump voters pointed specifically to his performance as president. (Misspellings are original.)

“He has moved kinda fast with the immagration ban, and abortion law.”

“I don’t like his decisions so far.”

“Trump’s actions since the inaugeration.”

“… Trump cannot get out of his own way. He won’t stop running his mouth and has no humility.”

These sentiments echo regrets highlighted in social media. But they are too few to conclude that Trump’s electoral coalition has somehow eroded. Moreover, of the already small number of Trump voters expressing regret, only one in four would have shifted their support to the Democratic nominee.

Cannot say I’m all that surprised.  As I’ve said time and time again, President Trump = Candidate Trump.  He’s horrible, but there’s not actually any surprises in it.  Trump voters either A) knew he was horrible and were willing to overlook it for tax cuts and the Supreme Court, or B) actually like the horribleness (and suffer from varying degrees of delusion as to how grossly incompetent he is).

Also, therefore, worth pointing out, that, overall, Trump remains quite popular among Republicans.  Drum with a nice graph:

This has been and remains the key dynamic.  Don’t expect much to change until this does.

Just win, baby

So, the Republicans in the House are doing their damndest to pass health care legislation that most of them hate (many, because they think it is still too generous to poor people).  And Trump is pushing really hard for it.  Of course, Trump repeatedlyChait promised better health care for less money for his supporters and this bill is the exact opposite (as I’ve mentioned many times, health care has always been about political expediency for Trump; his true passion is xenophobia).  But, clearly, Trump is so desperate for a “win” that he’s going to the mattresses for objectively bad legislation (literally nobody from anywhere on the political spectrum considers this a good and workable version of health care policy) that directly contravenes his promises.  on some of the illogic behind this:

Overpromising is common for politicians. But Republicans didn’t merely stretch the truth. They have promised something diametrical to their actual agenda. Republican plans would reduce coverage subsidies, foisting people onto cheaper plans with much higher deductibles. All the while, they promised the precise opposite. Whatever they do, they are going to break their promises…

2. Losing will embolden our enemies. “[Trump] told us if we don’t pass this bill on Thursday, it will put everything in jeopardy that he wants to do, his agenda,” Republican Representative John Duncan of Tennessee told The Hill. “If we are not able to move forward with health-care reform, it endangers tax reform,” Representative Bill Flores of Texas, a former chairman of a House conservative caucus, tells Sahil Kapur. “The folks that were able to tear this down would feel like they’re empowered to tear the next big project down.” This is, essentially, the domino theory of legislation. But, really, think about it rationally: The folks who are tearing down Trumpcare are fellow Republicans in Congress. If Trumpcare fails, are they going to turn against tax cuts? …

4. We’ll lose Congress if we fail. “If we get this done, and tax reform, [Trump] believes we pick up ten seats in the Senate and we add to our majority in the House,” says Republican Representative Chris Collins of New York. “If we don’t get it done, we lose the House and the Senate.” Trump has reportedly emphasized the same point to his party.

It is a bit strange to argue that a party can consolidate or even expand its base of support by passing a deeply unpopular bill. To be sure, if Republicans believe that the public has simply been misled about its bill, and will like the result once it has been enacted, they might have reason to think a vote could help them in the long run. But it is almost impossible to find a policy advocate of any ideological persuasion who believes that.

I think it still more likely than not this passes this House, though that’s far from a sure thing.  But, at this point, I truly am wondering what possible legislation pulls off 218 Republican votes in the House and 50 in the Senate.  Whatever legislation does manage to pull that off, will almost surely be abysmal from a cost/benefit public policy perspective.

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