Although less explicit, this skeptical tone is imbued in most mainstream coverage. Where is your replacement!? they keep incredulously asking, as if health-care reform needs to be functionally and conceptually exactly like Obamacare. This is the default position of basically everyone covering the issue. As if history started in 2009. As if no one ever had health insurance before Obamacare launched its website. As if only massive federal reform could possible work.
For years, the Left mocked and belittled efforts to repeal Obamacare as nothing more than conservatives feeding their base’s anger. Now Democrats have nothing to offer but a reclamation project teeming with failed promises. Their position is to fix it. The GOP can offer something different.
It can offer far less on a federal level, it can be passed in stages (Politico reports that the GOP is coalescing around a multi-year repeal strategy that would allow time for replacement plans) and it can be localized. Health care reform can be lot of things, but it will need to move forward. Failing to reform — so many people in the Senate and House won their seats thanks to the Affordable Care Act — would be a true disaster for Republicans. And the rest of us.