Donald Trump has been defeated on one of his main campaign pledges after he failed to push the abolition of “Obamacare” through Congress.
Trump withdrew his proposals on the health programme on Friday of last week rather than see them defeated. His changes would have taken millions off the state-subsidised programme.
But ultra-conservative Republicans and other groups stood in his way because it did not go far enough.
They wanted more checks on migrants, and they wanted insurers to be able to reject people with pre-existing conditions from coverage. But the right’s rebellion wasn’t the whole story.
Some Republicans with slim majorities also rebelled because they didn’t want to leave themselves exposed to challenges from the Democrats.
Obamacare meant that millions of people who did not previously have care were covered. But the coverage was poor and included clauses such as having to pay the first few thousands of pounds of costs. And workers’ health premiums have soared.
But Trump’s “repeal and replace” was even worse.
Republican control of the Senate and Congress was supposed to unleash a tidal wave of reactionary legislation.
Internal battles within the Republican Party have hampered that effort. Long may they continue—but they’re not enough to bring Trump down.
The next target in Trump’s sights is the tax system, which he wants to overhaul in the interests of the rich.
Trump wants to slash the corporate tax rate and lower income tax from 39.6 percent to 33 percent.
But his failure to slash Obamacare means that there’s a £794 billion hole in his budget.
And while the cracks deepen in the Republican Party, the movement against Trump is pushing forward.
On 4 April the Movement for Black Lives and the Fight For $15 movement will come together on the anniversary of Martin Luther King’s death. Nationwide protests will demand “racial and economic justice”.
Some workers and campaigners have called for a strike on 1 May. It is set to be another flashpoint, pulling together campaigns that until recently have been separate.
The Harvest Movement migrant support group is organising on campuses to build solidarity for it.
And the SEIU services union in California is mobilising its members who were involved in the Day Without Immigrants strikes and protests in February.
Throughout California and the South the Food Chain Workers Alliance has organised a tour of rallies in April to build for the strike in May.
“My co-workers and I had a choice—wait for Trump to disrupt our livelihoods or stand united to fight,” said Ricardo Flores.
“We chose to struggle until the end because it’s better to have a chance at justice than suffer guaranteed misery.”