*(Via LA Times) – Over the last few days, the Republicans’ campaign against the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) has undergone a subtle shift in branding. They’re no longer talking about a strategy of “repeal and replace’: The new buzzword is “repair.”
Close followers of GOP efforts to gut the law, which has brought health insurance to some 20 million Americans and protected millions of others from being denied coverage because of medical conditions, are skeptical that this signals a real change in the Republican caucus’s approach.
“Careful!” counsels healthcare wonk Andrew Sprung. “This sounds on its face more like rebranding than rethinking.”
Yet a package of three Republican bills reviewed last week by the House Committee on Energy and Commerce suggests that the GOP caucus may actually be getting serious about fixing the pieces of the ACA that have needed fixing for years. That’s an indication that repeal may be falling off the table. At least some Republicans appear to accept that if the ACA is here to stay, they may as well do their part to make it work better. This is at best a belated recognition of reality, and long overdue.
David Anderson of Duke (the health insurance expert formerly known pseudonymously as Richard Mayhew of balloon-juice.com) correctly labels the measures “technical correction bills that should have been going through committee and debated in 2014 and 2015 and 2016.”
Get the rest of this article by Michael Hiltzik at LA Times.