So, after all the talk and promises over the past several years, we never did actually get to see the promised Republican legislation to “replace” Obamacare and we never will. …

To be clear, Republicans didn’t lose the health care debate in 2009 or 2012. They lost it during the Bush era, when Republicans came to power and failed to advance free market solutions. Unlike issues like guns or taxes, there isn’t a strong activist community on the right built around health care. Such activism has only traditionally been created on an ad hoc basis to respond to Democratic efforts to expand the role of government, as with Hillarycare in 1993 and 1994, and Obamacare. As long as Republicans failed to address problems with the health care system, it was inevitable that at some point Democrats would realize their dream of national health care.

A lot of conservatives were suspicious of the idea of “replacing” Obamacare, because they viewed it as an attempt by Republicans to create a watered down version of a government-run program. That may be a reason to oppose some specific ideas, but not the whole concept of reforming the health care system. The reality is that even if Obamacare were to have been repealed, Americans still would have been stuck with the pre-Obamacare status quo: rising health care costs, a mixed government/private health care system, a tax code that discriminates against individuals purchasing insurance for themselves instead of through employers, and a raft of existing government regulations stifling choice and competition.