Boehner Bursts the Bubble

By Oletta Branstiter 

On the same day that President Trump made another vow to repeal and replace Obamacare in his rambling and self-congratulatory speech at CPAC in Maryland last week, former Speaker John Boehner was in Orlando, Florida, casually refuting that promise at a conference hosted by the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society.

The ease with which Boehner, a smoker who now serves on the board of tobacco giant Reynolds American, declared that “They’re basically going to fix the flaws and put a more conservative box around it,” betrayed the freedom of a man no longer required to play his part in the political theater of Washington, D.C.

Exposing the drawbacks of the independent thinking of Republicans, he admitted, “In the 25 years that I served in the United States Congress, Republican never, ever one time agreed on what a healthcare proposal should look like. Not once.” Conservatives would like to imagine that dedication to free market principles kept them from imposing federal solutions on a manufactured crisis.

With Trump at the helm, who prides himself on claiming the role of “fixer”, and advised by Steve Bannon, who advocates Economic Nationalism, it’s easy to accept the brutal honesty coming from Boehner. Maybe Republicans won’t admit it as readily as Progressives, but they must relish the opportunity to leverage this crisis to their benefit.

Does Bannon imagine a federally managed healthcare plan as part of the nationalist investments he promotes? 


“Unlike Republicans for the past thirty years, Mr. Bannon seems keen on public infrastructure spending. Indeed, he sounds positively Keynesian in his ambitions.

‘I’m the guy pushing a trillion dollar infrastructure plan,’ he says. ‘With negative interest rates throughout the world, it’s the greatest opportunity to rebuild everything. Shipyards, ironworks, get them all jacked up. We’re just going to throw it up against the wall and see if it sticks.'”

Instead of “making a conservative argument for limited government, Bannon joins in the attack against the social democratic content of the New Deal and goes beyond it to push for a more executive-centered state. Here, the crusade of run-of-the-mill conservatives to roll back government and welfare state merges with the authoritarian nationalist agenda of ideologues like Bannon.”  –

While President Trump continues to lead his followers in chants, vowing to “Repeal and Replace!” he knows they’ll gladly support him if he decides to use his own big brain to fix it. Controlling a sixth of the economy is too tempting to relinquish, for the oligarchs of either party.

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