Angry over US healthcare fail, Trump voters spare him blame
NEW PORT RICHEY, Fla. – Reuters
US President Donald Trump, with Vice President Mike Pence (R) and Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price (L), pauses as he speaks from the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, DC, on March 24, 2017. AFP photoThe day after the flaming out of U.S. President Donald Trump’s first major legislative initiative, his supporters across America were lashing out - at conservatives, at Democrats, at leaders of his Republican Party in Congress.
Only Trump himself was spared their wrath.
Many voters who elected him appeared largely willing to give him a pass on the collapse of his campaign promise to overhaul the U.S. healthcare system, stressing his short time in office.
“Being a businessman, he’ll not take ‘no’ for an answer,” said Tony Nappi, a 71-year-old from Trinity, Florida, one of the many disappointed Republicans on his weekend softball team. “He’ll get the job done.”
Rebellion among members of his own party sealed the failure of Trump’s effort to repeal and replace the 2010 Affordable Care Act - known as Obamacare - the signature domestic policy achievement of Democratic former President Barack Obama.
Despite casting himself on the campaign trail as “the best dealmaker there is,” Trump could not save the healthcare bill yanked by Republican leaders in the House of Representatives on March 24 in an embarrassing turn of events for them and Trump. Objections among Republican moderates and the party’s most conservative lawmakers left leaders short of the votes needed for passage, with Democrats unified in opposition.
“He can’t wave a magic wand,” said Ramona Bourdo, 70, a retired nurse, eating breakfast at a McDonald’s in suburban Little Rock, Arkansas. “I’ve not lost confidence in him.”
Still, the barista at the Grind Cafe in Morganton, North Carolina, who cannot afford his own insurance and remains on his parents’ plan, felt Trump shared responsibility in the debacle.
“I think it’s partially his fault,” said Joel Martin, a 21-year-old Republican and Trump supporter. “I don’t think he has enough personal knowledge to do what he needs to do to get a healthcare bill through Congress.”
In Florida’s Pasco County, where Trump’s stronger-than-expected showing helped to seal his victory in the largest U.S. battleground state, some fans seized on the silver lining.
Neighbors Patti Niehaus, a Democrat, and Margie Hahne, a Republican, agreed that Trump may have needed last week’s crash course in governing, having never before held elected office.
“You can’t just go and tell people what to do like he’s used to doing,” said Hahne, 74. “Trump’s got to learn a lot.”