Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Republicans Can't Replace Obamacare. Krugman Gets Why, and They Should, Too.

Have you watched the Republicans getting increasingly weak-kneed about repeal-and-replace? It's because they can't do it without destroying it. (And, amazingly, they see that.)

Trash-talking something that actually works doesn't always add up to
"We can kill this no sweat."

This morning Paul Krugman added it up. Republicans can't knock a leg or two off the three-legged stool without toppling it:
You may be surprised at the evident panic now seizing Republicans, who finally — thanks to James Comey and Vladimir Putin — are in a position to do what they always wanted, and kill Obamacare. How can it be that they’re not ready with a replacement plan?
That is, you may be surprised if you spent the entire Obama era paying no attention to the substantive policy issues — which is a pretty good description of the Republicans, now that you think about it.
From the beginning, those of us who did think it through realized that anything like universal coverage could only be achieved in one of two ways: single payer, which was not going to be politically possible, or a three-legged stool of regulation, mandates, and subsidies...
This was plain to see by those looking instead of talking in circles. Explanations of the replacement always resembled word salad -- selling health plans across state lines, health care savings accounts, high-risk pools for people with preexisting conditions, better-but-cheaper -- that sounds okay if you say it fast enough that people can't see it doesn't add up, not by a long shot.

Now, though, said Republicans are, like Krugman, getting it. It doesn't mean they won't blow it up in the end, but, boy, will they own it if they do. And they just might not want to own it. Here's hoping they don't.

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