It's 'gut check' time for Republicans

The Obama Democrats had the guts.  We'll soon find out if the Trump Republicans do.

The Obama Democrats spent more than a year forcing Obamacare to the finish line, seizing the opportunity to achieve their deeply held goal, at great cost to many of their own political careers.

Now the Republicans face their own "gut check" time, after promising repeal over the past four election cycles.  

Investors.com notes the suddenly changing Obamacare approval polls, the raucous town hall protests, the negativity from certain GOP quarters, and the seeming lack of a coherent message from the Republicans and suggests that "[i]t wouldn't be surprising if some lawmakers are starting to wonder whether repeal is worth the hassle."

But the Republicans can't run from the fight this time:

Even if the protests weren't carefully coordinated and the polls legitimate, the GOP has no choice but to move forward with repeal – if for no other reason than because it's what they were elected to do.

Indeed, Republicans owe their majorities in both the House and Senate to their repeated pledges to repeal ObamaCare. If they break that pledge, they will pay dearly for the betrayal come election time.

Investors suggests a "thought experiment," in which the Democrats pass a health care bill that cancels coverage, reduces "choice and competition," drives premiums skyward, and destroys jobs – in short, all the negative aspects of Obamacare – with little to show for all the disruption but an expansion of Medicaid coverage:

In other words, ObamaCare succeeded only in increasing dependence on government, not in fixing problems with the nation's health care system.

There will no doubt be a political price for repealing ObamaCare. Democrats and the liberal media will be sure to highlight and exaggerate every example of alleged harm caused by repeal and hope that this wins some elections.

There will be a far bigger political price to be paid, however, if Republicans renege on their pledge and lose a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to replace a government entitlement program with free-market reforms.

The Obama Democrats faced all manner of obstacles in passing Obamacare, as Phillip Klein writes at The Washington Examiner:

Democrats took a big risk to expand the role of government in healthcare[.] ... [T]here were many freak out moments. There were missed deadlines, scary Congressional Budget Office numbers, terrible polling, and constant infighting among liberals and more centrist members of the party.

But the Democrats did not falter at gut check time.

As Klein observes, the rise of the Tea Party and the town hall protests, the risk to their own political careers, and the special election victory of Massachusetts then-senator Scott Brown could not stop the Democrats' drive toward their national health care dream: 

Their leaders ... kept the pressure on, twisted arms, cajoled, and communicated at every opportunity that inaction was not an option.

Klein then asks:

So, do Republicans believe anything they've been saying?

... If they do, they have a duty to follow through on the promises to which they owe their majorities, no matter the political risks.

Klein goes after the partial repeal strategies that have been floated by some Republicans – "tinker around the edges, add some free market window dressing," but leave most of the spending and the Medicaid expansion "largely intact," not to mention the law's structural framework, all of which would remain as playthings for future Democrats.

If Republicans pursued this strategy, they would no doubt try to argue, out of one side of their mouths, that people won't be losing their Obamacare coverage, and then with the other, tell conservatives that they delivered on their promises, and then they wi[ll] cross their fingers and hope and pray that voters are too dumb to tell the difference.

... Conservatives will realize that they've been had, and that Republicans pulled off what may be the biggest broken promise in American political history.

The Klein column goes on to argue that, as for the Obama Democrats, even if the Republicans lose power as a result of repealing Obamacare, "it will have been worth it."  They will have used their power to get something important done, turning back the drive to big government health care.

The Democrats have been playing the long game for a long time, and it shows in the results.  If the current Republicans succumb to their usual weak-kneed instincts, the Democrats can say I told you so and add the public option to Obamacare, and we can kiss that freedom goodbye.

Our best hope is that President Trump can lend a spine to his Republican Congress.

The Obama Democrats had the guts.  We'll soon find out if the Trump Republicans do.

The Obama Democrats spent more than a year forcing Obamacare to the finish line, seizing the opportunity to achieve their deeply held goal, at great cost to many of their own political careers.

Now the Republicans face their own "gut check" time, after promising repeal over the past four election cycles.  

Investors.com notes the suddenly changing Obamacare approval polls, the raucous town hall protests, the negativity from certain GOP quarters, and the seeming lack of a coherent message from the Republicans and suggests that "[i]t wouldn't be surprising if some lawmakers are starting to wonder whether repeal is worth the hassle."

But the Republicans can't run from the fight this time:

Even if the protests weren't carefully coordinated and the polls legitimate, the GOP has no choice but to move forward with repeal – if for no other reason than because it's what they were elected to do.

Indeed, Republicans owe their majorities in both the House and Senate to their repeated pledges to repeal ObamaCare. If they break that pledge, they will pay dearly for the betrayal come election time.

Investors suggests a "thought experiment," in which the Democrats pass a health care bill that cancels coverage, reduces "choice and competition," drives premiums skyward, and destroys jobs – in short, all the negative aspects of Obamacare – with little to show for all the disruption but an expansion of Medicaid coverage:

In other words, ObamaCare succeeded only in increasing dependence on government, not in fixing problems with the nation's health care system.

There will no doubt be a political price for repealing ObamaCare. Democrats and the liberal media will be sure to highlight and exaggerate every example of alleged harm caused by repeal and hope that this wins some elections.

There will be a far bigger political price to be paid, however, if Republicans renege on their pledge and lose a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to replace a government entitlement program with free-market reforms.

The Obama Democrats faced all manner of obstacles in passing Obamacare, as Phillip Klein writes at The Washington Examiner:

Democrats took a big risk to expand the role of government in healthcare[.] ... [T]here were many freak out moments. There were missed deadlines, scary Congressional Budget Office numbers, terrible polling, and constant infighting among liberals and more centrist members of the party.

But the Democrats did not falter at gut check time.

As Klein observes, the rise of the Tea Party and the town hall protests, the risk to their own political careers, and the special election victory of Massachusetts then-senator Scott Brown could not stop the Democrats' drive toward their national health care dream: 

Their leaders ... kept the pressure on, twisted arms, cajoled, and communicated at every opportunity that inaction was not an option.

Klein then asks:

So, do Republicans believe anything they've been saying?

... If they do, they have a duty to follow through on the promises to which they owe their majorities, no matter the political risks.

Klein goes after the partial repeal strategies that have been floated by some Republicans – "tinker around the edges, add some free market window dressing," but leave most of the spending and the Medicaid expansion "largely intact," not to mention the law's structural framework, all of which would remain as playthings for future Democrats.

If Republicans pursued this strategy, they would no doubt try to argue, out of one side of their mouths, that people won't be losing their Obamacare coverage, and then with the other, tell conservatives that they delivered on their promises, and then they wi[ll] cross their fingers and hope and pray that voters are too dumb to tell the difference.

... Conservatives will realize that they've been had, and that Republicans pulled off what may be the biggest broken promise in American political history.

The Klein column goes on to argue that, as for the Obama Democrats, even if the Republicans lose power as a result of repealing Obamacare, "it will have been worth it."  They will have used their power to get something important done, turning back the drive to big government health care.

The Democrats have been playing the long game for a long time, and it shows in the results.  If the current Republicans succumb to their usual weak-kneed instincts, the Democrats can say I told you so and add the public option to Obamacare, and we can kiss that freedom goodbye.

Our best hope is that President Trump can lend a spine to his Republican Congress.

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