To the editor: White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus said that disloyal House Republicans were responsible for the failure of Trumpcare. President Trump called them "hard-liners." ("Trump blames GOP conservative faction for blocking healthcare bill," March 26)
Now we know that what members of Congress are actually voting on or what they think does not matter. They are expected to fall in line with the president and the speaker of the House, not vote in their constituents' best interest.
We have long known that the first priority of our elected officials was to get reelected, but it's now apparent that serving their constituents has fallen behind supporting the president and party leaders. Those who fail to understand this are labeled hard-liners or disloyal.
What a country.
Bob Murtha, Santa Maria
To the editor: As an 81-year-old Medicare recipient with history in the healthcare industry and Washington politics (I served in both the Reagan and George H.W. Bush administrations), I have some advice for members of Congress and the president:
Sit down together and use the Affordable Care Act as a framework for a viable national healthcare program. Forget all the politics and for once prove that you are capable of actually doing something for the good of this great nation rather than yourselves and your sinking credibility.
That's how it's been done in many other nations, and that's how it can be done here. Nothing else is acceptable.
Bill Deaver, Mojave
To the editor: Perhaps Doyle McManus should consider some history. ("It turns out Donald Trump is not an Artist of the Deal," Opinion, March 24)
Healthcare reform was the bane of many administrations dating back to Harry Truman's. The Affordable Care Act came after 60 years of trying, and to expect the Trump administration to repeal it in just two months is a very tall order.
This was House Speaker Paul D. Ryan's (R-Wis.) fight. The Republican healthcare bill retained some Affordable Care Act provisions that were important to the Democrats, but this did not satisfy the conservative House Freedom Caucus. In fact, nothing short of getting exactly what that caucus wanted would have won its members over.
Finally, President Trump had signaled his preference for working on tax reform and dealing with healthcare later — perhaps a wise choice given what we now know. A president does have some responsibility to back legislation from his party, but that doesn't mean Trump has to fight tooth and nail for a reform that was not his top priority.
Brian Miller, Los Angeles