As I write this, President Trump stands in the Rose Garden atthe White House, celebrating the passage of an Obamacarereplacement bill in the House he says will bring down both premiumsand deductibles. “It's going to be unbelievable,” he says, flankedby dozens of beaming House Republicans.


The vote is being called a “major victory” for Trump after earlystruggles to follow through on campaign promises.


But is the GOP's giddiness premature? And, could it be sendingthe wrong message?


Before the vote, Republicans held a “pep rally,” greeted by the“Rocky” theme song. Reports emerged of cases of beer hidden undersheets being delivered to the Capitol prior to the vote, which somespeculated were destined for a celebratory party (they were told itwas headed elsewhere.)


Either way, politics relies on PR and optics. So, is unbridledeuphoria really the best note to strike after the first step for abill that barely squeezed through and still faces an extremelymurky future? A bill which has produced concern and criticism andcould remove health care coverage for millions along with popularessential health benefits.


And it's hard to ignore statements made by GOP members about thepassage of the ACA. For example:

  • “Will Speaker Pelosi Wait for the 'Final Number' from the CBO?”House GOP Twitter handle, 2010

  • “I don't think we should pass bills that we haven't read that wedon't know what they cost.” Paul Ryan, July 2009

  • “Congress and the White House have focused their public effortson platitudes and press conferences, while the substance and thedetails have remained behind closed doors.” Paul Ryan, July2009

To be sure, less-than-flattering reactions crossed the aisle,with House Dems singing “nah nah nah, hey hey hey, goodbye,”implying that fallout from the vote could affect 2018 midterms. AsCongress members tally victories or chide opponents, millions areleft wondering about the health of themselves and theirfamilies.


Shortly after the vote, journalist and former news anchor DanRather wrote, “There will be no end to the speculation of how thiswill affect the political fortunes of the two major parties. And onthat front, frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn. I worry for myfellow citizens for whom the burden of health will now becompounded by the burden of injustice.” I think this sentimentechoes the concerns of many.


Amidst numerous optical illusions, it's important to stayfocused on what really matters.

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Paul Wilson

Paul Wilson is the editor-in-chief of BenefitsPRO Magazine and He has covered the insurance industry for more than a decade, including stints at Retirement Advisor Magazine and ProducersWeb.