Critical Condition

NRO’s health-care blog.

Obamacare: Time to Start Over


In the aftermath of the Democrats’ stunning defeat in Massachusetts, Democratic leaders are brainstorming how to get around Scott Brown’s election as the 41st Republican senator. But President Obama, Speaker Pelosi, and Senator Reid haven’t yet embraced the one course they need to take: Scrap the current bills and start over, with a bipartisan process that proceeds in broad daylight. 


Instead, Democratic leaders are talking about scaling back their current bills and trying to pick off a few isolated Republicans without ever having invited the GOP to the table in any meaningful way. This might have worked a few months ago, but things have changed. 


On the CBS Early Show, Sen. John McCain dismissed the notion of just downsizing Obamacare: “We are more than happy to sit down and start over,” McCain said. “Not scale back, but start over in a true negotiating process, rather than the Democrats going back to try to pick off one or two Republicans.’”


The Democrats need to face the music. Obamacare is more unpopular than ever. All the momentum is against its passage. And there are a surprisingly large number of congressional Democrats in Republican-leaning districts who are no doubt eager to put Obamacare in the rear-view mirror.  


A smaller helping of Obamacare is still Obamacare, not a bipartisan offering of real reform. It’s time to start over.


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