Are you watching the stunning kidnapping and ransom payment taking place on Capitol Hill right now? You are as long as you're following the so-called Obamacare repeal efforts and the subsequent White House tax reform plans.
The biggest losers in this drama are the conservative Republicans in the House of Representatives. Most of them were just convinced to pay a ransom in the form of voting for a fundamentally flawed Obamacare replacement bill in return for getting what looks like a seat at the table in the tax reform process.
With GOP majorities in the House and Senate and control of the White House, that seat should have been there in the first place. Somehow, the Freedom Caucus Republicans allowed it to be swiped away from them and had to pay up to get it back.
Their woes only start there. Conservative purists correctly point out that the new bill keeps the price-hiking subsidies and minimum requirements of Obamacare. And liberals are now portraying the bill as a giveaway to the rich that will leave a sizable amount of Americans without coverage and then allow them to die. Warren Buffett even parroted that point Monday morning, saying the Republican health-care bill will "cut the hell out of taxes" for the rich.
Oh the irony. The Republicans in the House begrudgingly voted in favor of a bill that basically preserves all the key elements of Obamacare for the chance to cut taxes and unleash the economy. And now the Democrats and the world's number one investor are painting the flawed bill not just as a big tax cut, but an evil one at that. This entire health bill ransom payment capitulation is turning out to be a preemptive GOP strike against itself.