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Lessons from Trump’s Health-Care Debacle

WASHINGTON, DC – US President Donald Trump’s domestic economic agenda suffered a major setback last week, when the House Republican leadership decided to withdraw their hastily drafted bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA, or “Obamacare”). Given the high-profile effort the president devoted to the issue, the Republican majority’s failure to produce a viable draft was deeply embarrassing.

The key question now is whether Trump will be able to move forward on other items on the Republicans’ economic agenda. And, for three reasons, Trump’s next major policy push – on taxes – is in big trouble.

First, activism matters. Since November, many people have rediscovered that grass-roots political action in the United States – such as well-organized marches, visits to congressional offices, speaking out at town halls, and calling members of Congress – really does makes a difference.

Members of Congress listen, because their jobs depend on it. The entire House of Representatives faces reelection every two years – a term set by the US Constitution to force them to hew close to public opinion. If they don’t, they risk facing serious challengers in party primaries and reelection campaigns.