Charles Krauthammer breaks down the strategy for Republicans on health care, pointing out Republicans may be able to save political face if the bill goes down in the Senate rather than in the House:
It will all depend on what the conservatives in the Freedom Caucus decide. They are the ones who can take it down. If they do, the injury to the Republicans and to the Trump presidency is going to be incalculable. In the end, they have to get it through the House. If you want to be completely cynical about this, and in the end try to bring the Democrats back in, you pass it through the House, you bring it to the Senate, and instead of obeying all the rules of reconciliation, you put everything you want into it, into a bill in the Senate. And then you dare the Democrats to filibuster. And if they succeed in doing that, then the Republicans say, “We tried. We promised. We tried to get everything in that would rescue this health-care system.”
And then what happens is you get the collapse of Obamacare, and again, if you are playing a very cynical game, you blame it on the Democrats. What Ryan has done, he’s trying to obey all the rules: do it through reconciliation, do it in three steps, which is the reason why the Democrats have the upper hand. But in the end, it must get through the House. That in and of itself would be the worst outcome: for it to die in the house at the hands of Republicans.