by Patrick Appel
A policy win for conservatives would probably not be to block Obama’s proposals, but rather to modify them in exchange for the kind of “bipartisan” win that the White House and congressional leaders crave. Less generous minimum benefit packages, and therefore somewhat smaller subsidies. More financing through taxing health benefits and less financing through taxes on the rich and employer mandates. Encouragement of the administration’s efforts to cut waste out of Medicare rather than criticizing them. That said, handing the White House a big bipartisan victory wouldn’t be helpful to Republican Party efforts to win elections in the future.
But if health care reform is popular over the long run, the policy win will be more important than the immediate glee of watching "Obamacare" go down in flames.