Republicans are about to walk into a buzzsaw of health care rage


The dilemma of Obamacare repeal is beginning to dawn on some Republicans:

[T]he shoe is on the other foot now. Donald Trump is president and Republicans control both houses of Congress, so there is no reason they couldn't get an ObamaCare replacement through. (If Democrats filibuster, the GOP could just abolish the filibuster.)

The problem, as myself and dozens of others have been pointing out for years, is that there is no possible policy framework that is better than ObamaCare while also more conservative. In fact, the most conservative "solution" here would be to just cut government provision of health insurance, as shown by the Heritage budget adopted by Trump, which gores Medicare and Medicaid in addition to ObamaCare. If passed, that budget would also kill tens if not hundreds of thousands of people, and drive millions into bankruptcy. That's what free markets do with medical treatment.

But that perspective is too brutal to state out loud for most people. It's also political suicide.

So more honest conservatives are beginning to realize that some sort of ObamaCare-esque policy is the inevitable endpoint. As American Enterprise Institute scholar James Capretta told Matt Lewis of his own health policy ideas: "You can look at this and say, 'Boy, doesn't this sound like the Affordable Care Act?' And the answer is 'yes.'"

This dilemma is beginning to dawn on some Republicans. As TheWashington Post reported, a recent closed-door meeting of GOP lawmakers was rife with fear about their health care strategy. While some congressional Republicans are no doubt just scheming to come up with the best way to avoid being blamed for certain disaster if they repeal ObamaCare without an effective replacement, others seem to still have some shreds of empathy for their constituents. Tom MacArthur, a congressman from New Jersey, said in the meeting: "We're telling those people that we're not going to pull the rug out from under them, and if we do this too fast, we are in fact going to pull the rug out from under them."

You can read the rest at The Week.

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