is the title of an op-ed in the New York Times by J.D. Kleinke of the American Enterprise Institute. If you have read my blogging or my book, you will know that I basically agree with him–the political rhetoric around Obamacare never matched the policy reality.
Some predictable push back from Jim Capretta, and Michael Cannon. I like both of these guys personally, and think they have some good thoughts and ideas. However, the opposition to Obamacare, driven in part by them, has always been oversold on policy terms and has been mostly about politics. What would be useful would be for them to be clearer about what they would do instead. In fairness, Jim Capretta has written a fairly complete vision of what a replace of Obamacare would look like, and Michael and colleagues at Cato have an ebook on reform options.
However, I don’t think they have a political party that can muster the 218 members of the House and the 60 in the Senate needed to pass their ideas (or anything) after voting to repeal Obamacare, even if there is a Republican clean sweep this fall (which seems unlikely in any event). As I have said before, if they clean sweep the election I expect the Republicans to repeal the ACA, but not to replace it with anything. If the President wins re-election and the hope of repeal becomes a fantasy, I think there will be a deal to move ahead on health reform, wrapped up in an overall deal on the tax code, etc. in the next Congress. Republicans need a deal on health reform because there is little reason to believe they can muster the political will to actually pass something. They seem to be the last to know, though maybe Kleinke is beginning to realize this.
a similar post is cross listed at freeforall.
updated: added a clause to the last sentence.