Repeal Health Care Reform? Unlikely.
It looks as if the Democrats will muster up the votes to get the Senate health reform bill passed through the House and it’s almost a foregone conclusion that the reconciliation package will easily make it through the Senate. While some conservative pundits and Republican leaders are now touting a Repeal platform for November, my gut tells me that Daniel Larison is right:
One of the major problems we face as a nation is the complete inability to dismantle an entitlement once it is established. Every entitlement typically creates a constituency that benefits from it and is forever dedicated to its defense. The most electorally significant resistance to the current legislation has come from Medicare loyalists who wish to preserve it just as it is, and it may be that even this is not enough. While Republicans have been able to tap into the fear that Medicare will have to be cut, a repeal effort will tap into a much smaller electoral base that never wanted health care legislation of any kind passed.
Depending on which polls you look at, the current process is either very or wildly unpopular. But the problem for a Repeal movement is that the anti-HCR coalition is one of exceedingly strange bedfellows, ranging from principled opposition to further government involvement in the system, Progressives who insist on the public option, fair-minded types who don’t like the parliamentary tricks involved, and those who intensely dislike one or more parts of the current proposal. Once a bill is passed, many of those people will either melt away or start work on further socializing our health care system.