Conservative pundit Charles Krauthammer slammed President Donald Trump and Senate Republicans’ unsuccessful attempt to repeal and replace Obamacare, calling it the “end of the road” for the GOP’s healthcare efforts.
“This is an epic fail. This is historic,” Krauthammer said during a Wednesday interview on Fox News. “This is seven years of arguing gone down the drain and I think they’re at the end of the road on Obamacare, at least in this phase.”
Krauthammer, an outspoken right-wing opinion columnist, shot down the suggestion that Republicans might be able to pass a clean repeal of former President Barack Obama’s signature legislation — something Trump advocated for on Monday after it became clear the bill did not have the necessary support from Senate Republicans. Krauthammer called the president’s last-minute proposal a “bluff.”
“The idea that they’re going to get a repeal bill standing alone when repeal and replace was meant to mitigate the effects of repeal is ridiculous,” he continued. “It is not gonna pass, they know it’s not gonna pass — it’s a bluff.”
Krauthammer argued that there are three reasons why the repeal and replace effort failed. First, he said it’s almost impossible to “abandon” a government “entitlement” once it’s been created or expanded. Second, Krauthammer claimed Trump showed “no presidential leadership” on the issue, unlike in 2009 and 2010 when Obama campaigned heavily for his healthcare bill, and the party failed to make a compelling case for their proposal.
“Did anybody make the case for what was in this bill in the Senate, other than that it was a promise?” he asked.
Lastly, Krauthammer blamed the failure on the “almost unbridgeable” divides between the moderate and conservative wings of the Republican caucus, both in the House and Senate.
The GOP bill fell apart Monday night when two more GOP senators — Jerry Moran of Kansas and Mike Lee of Utah — announced their opposition to the bill.