U.S. House factions trying to revive legislation reforming health-care policy should consider not just changes in bill language but several changes in outlook as well.
First, they should stop thinking of this effort as “the” sole bill to “repeal and replace” Obamacare. Second, they should measure the bill not against all future policy hopes, but against existing law. Third, everybody involved – especially President Trump and House Speaker Paul Ryan – ought to trumpet and explain in easily understandable terms, a major new concession they would make to build political support for the bill.
And (fourth), speaking of political support, the White House, in particular, must do far more to make a public case for the benefits of the entire enterprise.
With regard to the first two points above, the simple fact is that if the last public version of the American Health Care Act had been considered not as Obamacare repeal but merely as an effort to improve upon existing law, most of the same conservatives who trashed it would instead have been celebrating it as a terrific move forward – on multiple fronts.
Indeed, several conservative opponents of the bill have told me as much.
The reality is that few congressmen promised to “repeal Obamacare in one vote,” but merely to “repeal Obamacare.” Why should it matter to them if it takes several steps? Why should the failure to immediately and fully “repeal” Obamacare keep them from making major improvements in the meantime?….
There are lots of interesting details in the full column, here.