Chauncey Trump

J. Scott Applewhite

The AMA, which has been rather comically pro-Trump to date, came out today and told Republicans that they shouldn't repeal Obamacare without a clear replacement. Notably, even two of the most conservative health care economists at AEI, came out yesterday and said that 'repeal and delay' would be a disaster. The truth is that "repeal and delay" is the policy equivalent of taking off from JFK to Heathrow with 2,000 miles worth of gas and saying you're going to figure it out en route. No one who knows anything about health care economics, even people who are staunch free marketeers and hate Obamacare, think that makes any sense.

This morning President-Elect Trump is out with an ambiguous and possibly meaningless (it's sort of like Being There) series of tweets warning Republicans to "be careful" and make sure that Democrats "own" the "ObamaCare disaster." But the truth is, while the ACA has real problems, it had its best year of sign ups to date. It is demonstrably not failing and not a disaster. Indeed, it's gotten marginally more popular over the last few months, though that is likely because Republicans are now less invested in reflexively opposing it. The real bottom line number is that the latest polls show that only about a quarter of Americans want Obamacare repealed. A quarter!

The gist of what Republicans are saying this morning - both Trump and the GOP - is that they need to remind Americans how awful the ACA is so they'll have some way to explain, to justify why they're taking health care coverage from 20 to 25 million Americans, to have some explanation for the s%$&storm they're about the fly the country's health care system into. Again, there are definitely problems. There are lots of ACA markets with too little competition and thus spiking prices. But the 'solution' is simply to take away care altogether.

They simply have no idea what to do and now they're being taunted by Trump not to blow and he doesn't have any idea either. It would be funny if millions of people's lives and well being weren't on the line.

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Josh Marshall is editor and publisher of TalkingPointsMemo.com.
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