Why Republicans should save ObamaCare

If the Affordable Care Act fails, the GOP will get the blame

It's what the people want.
(Image credit: AP Photo/Reed Saxon)

The spectacle is astounding: With a Republican in the White House and the GOP firmly in control of the House and Senate, Congress still can't pass major legislation. The push to repeal and replace ObamaCare failed before even coming to the House floor. Now, with Congress nowhere close to passing a budget before funding runs out at week's end, a government shutdown is a real possibility, even as President Trump vows to re-fight the health-care battle and take on tax reform, too.

Why is Washington paralyzed? Partly because Republicans are divided: What pleases the House Freedom Caucus is poison to GOP moderates and vice versa. The party is cleft between Trump and House Speaker Paul Ryan as well. The president owns the hearts and minds of the party's voters and the loudest voices in right-wing media, but he hasn't built up a policy team. Ryan has the policy expertise, yet he's a villain in the eyes of Trump's base — especially the part that Breitbart speaks for — and is distrusted by the Freedom Caucus. The Republicans are hardly "a" party anymore; in the absence of leadership both inspiring and competent, they're turning into a swarm of micro-parties

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Daniel McCarthy

Daniel McCarthy is director of the Novak Journalism Fellowship Program at the Fund for American Studies, the editor of Modern Age, and a columnist at The Spectator. His freelance journalism has appeared in a variety of publications in the U.S. and internationally, including the New York Times, the Daily Telegraph, The National Interest, and Reason.