This situation sometimes results in amusing developments: When Graham-Cassidy was being debated, progressives circulated a list of industry groups opposed to it — as though deferring to corporate interests were self-evidently good policy from a progressive point of view. It’s part of an argument that, in total, doesn’t make any sense — “Corporate special interests want to stop Republicans from selling the People out to corporate special interests!” — but the argument isn’t about the argument. It’s about pointing to the other side and shouting: “Bad!” If you think about it, Donald Trump hasn’t invented a new kind of politics but has simply stripped our existing political discourse down to its fundamentals.
But whatever else you can say about the politics of health insurance, it remains the fact that the ACA does not work. Even if it were the case that Republicans are mean, wicked, greedy, and ignorant, the ACA does not work. Sure, President Trump is a buffoon and the Republican congressional leadership has been strikingly unpersuasive — but the ACA does not work. Mitch McConnell could be in the employ of Beelzebub himself and the ACA still does not work. In a house or with a mouse, on a train or in the rain, the ACA does not work. It does not do what its authors promised it would do. And it has failed mostly for the reasons that conservative critics pointed to at the time.