Spring is a time for rebirth, and at least for some Republican leaders, that goes for health-care legislation, too. Talks have reportedly resumed on reviving a version of the Republicans’ Obamacare alternative, the American Health Care Act, as my colleague Russell Berman reports, even as House Speaker Paul Ryan called Obamacare the “law of the land” just a few weeks ago.
The bare bones of the AHCA will likely form the basis of whatever the party does next on health care, according to two Republican Capitol Hill aides. That might be concerning to the various physician, hospital, and insurance groups who opposed the bill, not to mention the many conservative, centrist, and liberal health-policy wonks who reviled it. (One of the staffers said outside groups simply misunderstood “what our bill did and did not do.”)
The AHCA’s epic failure, and potential resurrection, makes it worth asking—why has it been so difficult for Republicans to come up with something that’s at least more popular than the IRS? (To name just one example, Politico magazine, a publication not exactly known for partisan snark, called the bill “a Dumpster fire.”) And will anything be different if Republicans try their hand at health-care reform again?