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The Republican health care bill has dropped, and it is a steaming hot mess, so much so that even conservatives hate it:

A long-awaited plan to repeal the Affordable Care Act and remake the American health care system faced a revolt from the right on Tuesday as conservative groups and lawmakers strongly criticized a bill that Republican leaders and President Trump had hoped to push through Congress this month.

The Republican bill, released Monday night after months of negotiation, would scrap the mandated coverage in President Barack Obama’s signature domestic achievement in favor of tax incentives to coax people to purchase health care. But the legislation maintains many of the Affordable Care Act’s mandates and basic benefits, including prohibiting insurers from denying policies for pre-existing conditions or capping benefits in a year or a lifetime.

That has led to charges among conservatives that the bill would be nearly as disruptive to the free market as the law it is replacing, and to concern among experts that it could send insurance premiums skyrocketing, with only small tax credits to defray the cost for consumers seeking policies.

Even Ann Coulter and Laura Ingraham hate it:

Wow. Six years and the GOP failed to come up with anything. If I didn’t know any better, I’d say all they ever wanted was to undo Obamacare because it was Obama’s idea, and that they hoped they could take away health care from millions of their constituents without them noticing. But luckily for us, Principled Conservative© Noah Rothman has found out who’s really to blame for the terrible bill:

Liberals.

No, really (“What Do Republicans Believe?” Commentary, 3/7/2017):

At some point in ObamaCare’s lifetime, though, liberalism’s censorious culture monitors succeeded in rendering it a sin to speak conservatism’s assumptions out loud. Among them is the belief that the federal government cannot expand access to health insurance in both in terms of quality and cost-effectiveness. Even if it could, that isn’t the federal government’s job…

It’s not entirely clear when Republicans allowed Democrats to change the terms of the debate, but an unspoken concession in the Republican health care reform bill demonstrates that they clearly have. The conceit of the GOP’s bill is that the universalization of access to health insurance is now the metric by which any health care bill will be judged. That is a tragedy…

Liberals won the philosophical argument over the federal government’s role in universalizing health care. But ObamaCare does not empower; it imprisons. If conservative Republicans cannot even say what they believe anymore for fear of contradicting the president, or being scolded by a shallow cast of show hosts, or having to endure the opprobrium of an army of anonymous social media users, then the GOP has lost more than the argument. It’s lost its philosophical grounding.

See? People sending mean tweets and leaving rude Facebook comments prevents Republicans from saying how they really feel. It’s like, can’t Republicans just come out and say they want to take away health insurance from millions of people with zero replacement without those people getting upset? Talk about fascism—the absolute nerve of those people contacting their representatives and telling them that a repeal is a bad idea. Where the hell do they get off?

And frankly, I thought Republicans made significant ground in the argument by constantly confusing the terms ‘health care’ and ‘health insurance,’ not to mention getting the entire nation’s media to stop talking about health insurance as a ‘benefit,’ instead replacing it with the far more derogatory ‘entitlement.’ It’s helped them perpetuate their argument that there are some people who don’t deserve coverage.

My gut instinct has always been that Republicans would find a way to repeal Obamacare, replace it with something terrible or nothing at all, and blame Democrats for the resulting mess, but I was never sure how they would go about it; I’ve instead openly wondered whether whatever “four legs good, two legs bad” mantra the right adopted would be able to convince its audiences that the replacement was better than Obamacare even if those audiences could see by example in their own lives that it wasn’t. Rothman’s strategy might work for the National Review crowd who fancy themselves intellectuals, but I don’t think it’ll cut it for the rank and file. I think they need something a bit dumber, like this:

breitbart ocare

In the event that the right knows it can’t spin any Obamacare (non-)replacement as something good, then they’ll continue to refer to it as Obamacare—in this instance, “Obamacare 2.0”—and hope that the hatred they affiliate with the name will make people forget that it was Republicans that changed the system for the worse, and that this will lead to the ultimate, real goal of the GOP: repeal Obamacare in its entirety, followed by the privatization of Medicare and complete gutting of Medicaid.

*A big nod to No More Mister Nice Blog, who has a great blog and tipped me off on the Rothman piece.

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