Angry at America’s Health Care Failure, Trump Voters Spare Him Blame

© Reuters. Protesters send white doves from the beach as they protest in support of US President Donald Trump during a rally in Huntington Beach.

By Letitia Stein

NEW PORT RICHEY, Fla. (Reuters) – The day after the outbreak of the first major legislative initiative by President Donald Trump, his supporters across the United States were lashing out at conservatives, Democrats and the leaders of his Republican Party. in Congress.

Only Trump himself was spared his wrath.

Many voters who elected him seemed largely willing to approve the collapse of his campaign promise to reform America’s healthcare system, highlighting his brief time in office.

“As a businessman, you won’t take ‘no’ for an answer,” said Tony Nappi, a 71-year-old from Trinity, Florida, one of many disappointed Republicans on his weekend softball team. “He will do the job.”

Support for Trump seemed tireless, from the playing fields of a Republican stronghold in central Florida to the diners of small towns in North Carolina, the suburbs of Arkansas, and the streets of working-class Staten Island in New City. York.

The rebellion among members of his own party sealed the failure of Trump’s effort to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act of 2010, known as Obamacare, the signature national policy achievement of former Democratic President Barack Obama.

Despite running into the election campaign as “the best negotiator there is,” Trump failed to save the healthcare bill withdrawn by Republican leaders in the House of Representatives on Friday in an embarrassing turn of events for them and Trump. . Objections among moderate Republicans and the party’s most conservative lawmakers left the leaders without the necessary votes for approval, with the Democrats unified in opposition.

“You can’t wave a magic wand,” said Ramona Bourdo, 70, a retired nurse, who eats breakfast at a McDonald’s in suburban Little Rock, Arkansas. “I have 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 that Trump shared responsibility for the debacle.

“I think it’s partly 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 get Congress to pass a healthcare bill.”

His hometown, with a population of 17,000, is within the congressional district of Representative Mark Meadows, a North Carolina Republican whose opposition as chairman of the conservative House Freedom Caucus helped sink the bill.

Sharing the frustration of loyal Republicans was Jeanette Madison, 82, a registered independent in the Staten Island district of New York City, who voted for Trump.

“I blame the Democrats and Republicans in Congress. They’re a bunch of bastards. I’m sick of it,” she said, apologizing for the colorful language as she walked her dog down a city street.

LESSONS TO LEARN

In Florida’s Pasco County, where Trump’s stronger-than-expected performance helped seal his victory in America’s largest state, some fans seized on the bright side.

Neighbors Patti Niehaus, a Democrat, and Margie Hahne, a Republican, agreed that Trump may have needed last week’s crash course in government, having never held elected office before.

“You can’t just go and tell people what to do like he used to do,” said Hahne, 74. “Trump has to learn a lot.”

Pasco County, which links the booming suburbs of Tampa and the still rural parts of central Florida, sits in a politically decisive region of the state along the Interstate 4 corridor that links Tampa and Orlando.

Trump won 58.4 percent of the vote in the mostly white, working-class and middle-class county, beating the last two Republican presidential candidates by tens of thousands of votes.

His promise to end Obamacare helped influence Kelle DeGroat, a 37-year-old nurse, a Republican who is open to other parties.

“I thought there was a good plan from the way he spoke,” DeGroat said, still confident in Trump’s ability to make reform a reality. “I was surprised it didn’t happen.”

Other Republicans applauded their leaders for returning to the drawing board, and polls showed the derailed health plan is unpopular following predictions that it would jeopardize or increase the cost of insurance for millions.

Lisa Collins, a 53-year-old teacher with two adult children who benefit from Obamacare, for the first time began calling the region’s elected representatives to voice her opposition.

“This is a hit the party heard about,” said Collins, a Republican who did not support Trump. “To me, that’s amazing. They represented the average normal boy, the little boy.”