You will recall that Trumpcare foundered due to “no” votes on the part of the GOP Freedom Caucus the members of which decided that Paul Ryan’s offering wasn’t nearly conservative enough, particularly as it kept in place Obamacare benefits like maternity and mental health care.
On top of that, the more Ryan tried to placate the Freedom Caucus the more he alienated more centrist Republicans, which put Ryan and Trump in a pickle because they had no leverage with the Freedom Caucus, and here’s why:
The 40 members of the Freedom Caucus represent such safe Republican districts that the only threat they fear is a primary challenge from a conservative further to their right. Republican redistricting guaranteed the GOP a near-lock on the House after the 2010 Census — but it also created a nearly ungovernable caucus. They gerrymandered themselves into this predicament.
These congressmen are perfectly content to say no and lose on principle, because compromise and conciliation — the actual work of politics — are the only things that can cost them their jobs.
In other words, there is no benefit for Freedom Caucus members to compromise their hard right principles because they represent the most conservative congressional districts in the country due to redistricting. Their seats are safe as long as they say “no” to anything that could be perceived as having a moderating influence on public policy, which is typically where most votes are.
Sorry to say, and as Mr. Trump is finding out, principle is fine, but it doesn’t get legislation passed.