It's time to start talking about reforming, not repealing, ObamaCare

Over the past month, as the Obamacare exchanges have bounced and crashed, some 400,000 Americans have enrolled in Medicaid or S-Chip, the children’s health program. The architects of the Affordable Care Act expected that about half the people who would gain coverage under the law would do so through Medicaid; about half through the much more publicized exchanges. Website troubles and high prices have depressed exchange sign up. But Medicaid sign-ups are trundling along in half the states. (In 21 others, governors and state legislatures have refused the ACA’s Medicaid expansion and the accompanying federal dollars. Four states have not yet decided one way or the other.)…

More states may soon follow, with Pennsylvania and Virginia the most likely next in line. If a “repeal ACA” president takes office in 2017, he or she will face a reality in which repeal means stripping millions of people—potentially up to 10 million—of a government benefit they will by then have enjoyed for more than three years. Such a move would be the most radical reduction in social coverage ever seen in a democratic country. Ronald Reagan never tried anything even close to that.

Maybe President Paul Ryan or President Ted Cruz or President Sarah Palin will be bolder than Ronald Reagan. Maybe Republicans in Congress can face the heat on a scale never dared in 1995 or 2011. Maybe. But much more likely … no. No, they won’t.

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