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With Mike Lee and Jerry Moran declaring their opposition, the latest Senate health-care bill is dead. McConnell now wants to revert to what was his original idea of repeal-only. The problem is that the CBO score will be much worse — a projected 32 million fewer with insurance rather than 22 million — and even repeal-only isn’t true repeal (the repeal-only bill in 2015 left the Obamacare regulations untouched). If Republicans can’t pass what is, in relative terms, a generous version of a repeal bill, it’s hard to see how they are going to get a more stringent version over the hump — they may get Mike Lee and Rand Paul on board, but they will presumably lose from the left of the caucus. McCain is already out with a statement calling for a bipartisan bill. If the current fight isn’t completely over, it’s certainly closer to the end of the end than the end of the beginning. We may well be witnessing one of the greatest political whiffs of our time.

Rich Lowry — Rich Lowry is the editor of National Review. He can be reached via email: comments.lowry@nationalreview.com. 

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