By Quin Hillyer at The Washington Examiner;

Conservative policy experts and strategists continue to quietly meet and craft a legislative replacement for Obamacare, and with good reason.

People are hurting under the current broken system that denies individuals control over their own health decisions while hugely driving up their costs. Premiums have been rising by ungodly amounts (an average of 37 percent in 2018), while nearly one-third of all counties feature just a single insurer offering coverage in an Obamacare exchange.

The conservative strategists see a moral imperative to fix these problems. They also see the healthcare reform effort as a political necessity – and they’re right on both counts.

On the politics, the polls already look horrendous for Republicans anyway, and the Left will be energized in this fall’s elections no matter what. The only way to counter their energy is by exciting right-leaning Americans to turn out as well. If Obamacare remains in place, though, the Republican base will be thoroughly demoralized and stay home from the polls.

“[Repealing Obamacare] was the number one priority that caused us to win three of the last four election cycles,” former Sen. Rick Santorum, R-Penn., told me on Wednesday. “To give up now would be political malpractice.”

Moreover, 2018 might be the only chance to get the job done. Republicans could easily lose a House majority in this year’s elections – and if they do, Obamacare replacement is not just dead, but unresurrectable.

Despite this wisdom, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is reportedly considering bypassing entirely the annual budget resolution that, with proper “reconciliation” instructions attached, would be necessary to repeal Obamacare this year. He seems to think that failure in 2017 ensures failure forever.

McConnell is wrong. The conservative strategists are busy building a plan better both substantively and politically than the ones that failed last year…..

[The full column is at this link.]



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