Repeal and replace: The Democrats’ role

Avik Roy articulates how Democrats might be drawn onto the repeal and replace wagon:

[I]t is definitely possible for the GOP to repeal and replace Obamacare. The sequence would go something like this:

  1. Partially repeal Obamacare via reconciliation, with the subsidies expiring in 2019.
  2. Get Republicans to agree on a pathway to market-based universal coverage that reduces, instead of increasing, the federal role in health care.
  3. Use the two-year window to achieve market-based universal coverage by repealing the ACA’s premium-hiking regulations, replacing it with a system of means-tested tax credits.

There are likely to be 60 votes for the Obamacare replacement under this scenario, because once Obamacare’s subsidies have been repealed, Republicans will have negotiating leverage with Democrats who would prefer a more statist approach.

This is clever. To get around a filibuster, it puts a gun to the Senate Democrats’ heads, so to speak. “Do you want something or nothing?”


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