Inslee continues to push back against Trump administration

Gov. Jay Inslee has not been shy about challenging President Donald Trump’s actions and stances.

This week, Inslee said in a CNN interview that he has “zero confidence” that Trump can lead an effort to competently repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act.

It’s still unclear how Congressional Republican leaders plan to repeal and replace the ACA, but there are hints. But, Trump’s comments on health care continue to be dissonant with the GOP’s expressed values, and varying in general. The dissonance isn’t just on Trump, though.

There’s disagreement on the right way to repeal and replace within the Republican party. The New York Times reported on this compounded tension Wednesday:

“While Mr. Trump appeared to back a health plan being drawn up by Republican leaders, it became clear Wednesday that lawmakers were continuing to argue over its details. Republican senators emerged from a closed-door meeting on health care tight-lipped.

Some have balked at a proposal to require workers to pay taxes on particularly generous employer-provided health benefits. Some are worried about the future of Medicaid.”

Amid all this, Trump hasn’t provided a unifying plan. Or at least, Republicans in Congress don’t unilaterally see it that way. Politico reported on this Wednesday:

“House Republican leaders were ebullient after President Donald Trump’s first address to Congress Tuesday night, convinced that their proposal to repeal and replace Obamacare had just gotten the presidential seal of approval.

Conservatives who abhor the GOP leadership plan saw just the opposite.

Congressional Republicans were yearning for some direction from Trump after spending weeks splintered on their Obamacare strategy. Trump did lay out details — using tax credits to help Americans purchase insurance, implementing tort reform, allowing for purchase of coverage across state lines — but he may have done little more than give a tiny nudge toward consensus on a health care plan, where Republicans still appear far apart on a deal.”

Sen. Rand Paul, R-Kentucky, is airing his frustration publicly, by insisting the GOP reveal the plan to the public.

While there’s rifts within the Republican party, the Democrats are just not having it.

Sen. Chuck Schumer said he believes disagreement within the party could help Democrats save the ACA, according to an NPR interview.

And, back to Inslee: he’s putting pressure on the federal government here. He’s defending the ACA and Medicaid expansion, and sharply criticizing the discord in Congress and in the White House. He attended a National Governors Association meeting in D.C. earlier this week, met with Trump, and then announced his skepticism of the GOP and Trump’s plans regarding health care.

The Seattle Times reported on this:

“Gov. Jay Inslee says he walked away from his first in-person encounter with President Donald Trump feeling even grimmer about the new administration’s plans for health care and immigration.

Inslee and other governors met with the president Monday morning at the White House as part of a National Governors Association (NGA) gathering.

In a teleconference with reporters afterward, Inslee said he heard nothing that gave him assurance that Trump was making policy ‘in a thoughtful, nonchaotic, rational basis based on facts and evidence rather than just tweets.’

‘I feel more concerned about that now than when I landed Thursday night,’ Inslee said.

Inslee pronounced himself shocked by Trump’s comment at the meeting that, ‘Nobody knew health care could be so complicated.’”

Washington state Republicans have repeatedly criticized Inslee’s efforts at the federal level, saying he should focus on state concerns. Alisyn Camerota, reporting for CNN, did ask the governor whether he had intentions to run for president for the 2020 election.

“I’m committed to being governor,” he told Camerota.

Erin Fenner:, @erinfenner

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