Not repeal. Not replace. Not even “skinny repeal”—the hastily constructed package eliminating a handful of discrete provisions from Obamacare that the Senate drafted, debated, and voted on last night. After seven years of promises to repeal and replace, the last-ditch measure failed by a single vote, thanks to a trio of GOP senators, including John McCain, who were worried that if it passed it might actually become law, an outcome that few if any Republicans desired. The health care law will live on, for now.
Last night’s legislative denouement mostly served to demonstrate how desperate and confused Republicans are when it comes to health care: Senate Republicans could not come up with any health care legislation that they wanted to pass, so their final push revolved around a plan to vote for legislation that they very much did not want to pass.
Let that sink in for a moment: The final Republican health care plan was to pass legislation that they did not want to become law.