The House of Representatives recently voted along party lines, with a few exceptions, to repeal the Affordable Care Act. This is politically a mistake for Republicans. First, the principle applies: If you break it, you bought it. Whatever replaces Obamacare will be the Republicans’ responsibility, and they will take all the blame if it isn’t substantially better than the ACA. Secondly, it’s too early. We hear it repeated often that Obamacare is self-destructing as we speak, yet much of the country doesn’t see this. If it truly is in a death spiral, then strategically, Republicans would be better off to wait to replace Obamacare until everyone agrees that it is so. At that point, they would have no choice but to intervene. As it currently stands, they are offering a solution to a problem that many deny even exists. Lastly, a conservative argument for replacing Obamacare is that it is too expensive. Even an excellent program that costs too much must be changed. But rather than make that argument, Republicans are emphasizing improving health care, which is raising voter expectations. Sounds like over-promising and under-delivering. Assuming Obamacare does get replaced, the Republican Party will likely pay for it in the mid-term elections.
John Crow, Boise
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