This afternoon, the House of Representatives passed a bill that would devastate the American health care system if it becomes law. Opposed by virtually every stakeholder in the system, the bill will strip health insurance from tens of million of Americans, puts at risk vital protections that millions more count on to keep their costs from skyrocketing, and breaks a slew of promises Republicans had made to the country -- including Trump’s pledge not to cut Medicaid -- all to slash taxes for the wealthiest Americans. People will die if this bill becomes law.
Many health care and congressional reporters have done crucial work over the past weeks figuring out what the ever-changing train wreck of a bill would do, contextualizing it within the health insurance system, and explaining the legislation’s implications for people.
Then the vote happened. And an overjoyed pundit class came forward, and with one voice, shouted to the skies what they find most important: the politics and optics of the moment.
Trump scored a “victory,” the press rushed to report, because he wanted the bill to pass and it did. That is the best possible spin for Trump, who has made clear that he doesn’t know what’s in the bill and couldn’t care less, as long as he gets credit for a victory.
For the press, too, what apparently matters is the winning.
So much winning.