Tweak Or Repeal?

Peter Suderman says the end goal matters as the incoming GOP House ponders how to treat Obama's healthcare legislation:

The politics of the health care law are such that a few Democrats might be willing to join Republicans in taking out selected parts of the law. Sen. Max Baucus, who oversaw a lot of the early negotiations over the law, is already indicating that he may be open to making changes in the legislation. And Republicans are reportedly on the hunt for other potential Democratic allies.

The upside of a strategy like this is that it stands a chance to result in actual (if small) changes to the law. It’s a path toward opposing the legislation that doesn’t rely mostly on erecting procedural barriers, as defunding strategies and state-led efforts to block or slow implementation would. The downside, at least for those who’d like to scrap the law entirely, is that it could reduce the urgency to repeal the law. Relying on an ongoing series of small tweaks, especially bipartisan tweaks, risks implying that the law doesn’t eventually need to be fully overturned.