The unrelenting disaster of the Obamacare rollout has invigorated Republicans in Congress. Suddenly, their years of warnings about the law's terrible effects seem vindicated; GOP lawmakers and commentators have turned into crusaders for the system's victims who are seeing their insurance policies canceled, having their premiums hiked, or just can't get through that darned healthcare.gov website.
The sudden outbreak of Republican concern about getting everybody insured has raised a tantalizing possibility: What if the party that has been Obamacare's most unremitting critic ended up getting carried away and saving it instead? Congressman Fred Upton, a Republican from Michigan, has proposed a bill aimed at letting people keep the insurance plans they had before the Affordable Care Act went into effect, something President Obama long promised would be the case that has turned out to be rather dramatically untrue. A Democratic Senator, Mary Landrieu, has proposed a similar (but more mandatory) fix; conservatives have begun to worry that the merged bill might actually pass, work, and make Obamacare look like less than a failure (although health-reform experts are skeptical of both would-be fixes).