In short, the GOP may be positioning itself to become the dog that caught the car. Political and policy uncertainty is perhaps inevitable given the range of what the Court could do. But the Republicans need a more coherent strategy, and more credible alternatives, to avoid reprising the payroll tax holiday debacle of last Christmas, except with generational consequences. …

The larger problem is that despite two years of incanting “repeal and replace,” Republicans still haven’t formed an intellectual let alone popular consensus for the “replace” part. There’s no private insurance market analogue to Paul Ryan’s premium support reform for Medicare.

One thing that comes up again and again in conversations with Republicans is that they favor smaller incremental reforms that do some modest good and avoid the liberal mistake of overhauling the entire system. That’s fine as far as it goes, though the pre-existing dysfunctions that antedate ObamaCare require an Actually Affordable Care Act that increases competition and health-care choice. Something more than, say, tort reform.

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