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Their dreams, they are in fact as empty as their consciences seem to be



Some people have argued that House Republicans do not have a plan to replace the Affordable Care Act. Scurrilous lies! Here is their very detailed public plan, which I present in its entirety:

The House Republican Healthcare Plan lowers costs, provides more control and more choices to pick a plan that meets our needs, not a plan that Washington mandates.

The failure to add “and a pony” shows a rather disturbing lack of familiarity with all internet traditions.

Via Chait, who finds Mike Lee essentially admitting that the public would hate any Republican replacement plan if they found out about it:

The Republican Party, faced with the catastrophic real-world consequences of repealing the Affordable Care Act, is divided over how to proceed. Some nervous Republicans want to figure out what they want to put in place of Obamacare. Senator Mike Lee insists that Republicans repeal Obamacare first, before they decide on an alternative. And his reason is straightforward: If people saw the Republican alternative, they might not like it! “There is a lot less agreement about what comes next,” he tells Julie Rovner. “If we load down the repeal bill with what comes next, it’s harder to get both of them passed.”

That is very true. If people see what Republicans would put in place of Obamacare, they would probably rather keep the status quo. Lee is right that the best way to eliminate Obamacare is to remain vague about the alternative. It’s a little odd for him to come out and admit this, though.

On a related point, Beulter observes that the ACA’s approval ratings are finally above water, in part because “its progressive skeptics—supporters of single-payer insurance or a public option—have come home.” One obvious limitation of approval/disapproval polling about specific laws is that there’s generally no baseline comparison. It’s one thing to disapprove of the ACA because it’s much better than the status quo ante but still worse than the systems of other liberal democracies, or because you would prefer to think that Trump’s plan to give everybody better insurance for free was serious. When people are actually forced to compare the ACA to a Republican plan that will inevitably take health care away from millions of people and make insurance worse and/or more expensive for many of those who retain it, it will be a lot more popular — and Republican leaders understand this perfectly well. This doesn’t make saving the ACA inevitable, but it is a powerful weapon in the fight to save it.

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