Ramesh Ponnuru has a long piece [about Obamacare] at National Review... [In it] Ponnuru doesn't allow for the possibility that Obamacare will turn out to be something less than a total failure, and he says that conservatives all believe the same thing (though he does differ from some of his allies on whether it will collapse dramatically or simply limp miserably along). But let me suggest another possible scenario: It ends up working pretty well. It doesn't turn America into a health-care paradise, and there are some implementation problems here and there, and we still have to pay more for our system than other countries do. But people like the fact that their coverage is guaranteed, and the doomsaying turns out not to be borne out. Critically, the middle class and wealthy people who collectively hold political influence discover that their lives haven't really been changed all that much, except in some ways that are positive. And it becomes hard to get voters too angry about Obamacare.
What will Republicans do then, if the issue doesn't seem to have much political potency? Will they keep working to come up with new health-care proposals more in line with their values? Or will they move on to some other issues that seem to offer better opportunities to gain political advantage? If you think it's the former, you're dreaming.
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