It’s little wonder that Republicans are struggling to find a path forward on replacing Obamacare (“Repeal of health law faces roadblocks in House,” Page A2, Feb. 24). In 2009, the Democrats, in an effort to craft a plan that they hoped might achieve some bipartisan support, created a structure that had been proposed by such conservative luminaries as Newt Gingrich and the Heritage Foundation, and that was similar to the health insurance plan that had been signed into law by Mitt Romney in Massachusetts in 2006. Nevertheless, determined to obstruct President Obama at every turn, the Republicans in Congress demonized a plan that, had they not been so reliably indifferent to the challenges of poor and middle-class Americans, they might have enacted themselves.
The Republicans will not be able to improve upon the Affordable Care Act because it already hews to the Republican ideology and preserves the profits of insurance and pharmaceutical companies at the expense of consumers. Ironically, Obama has boxed them in: Even though the ACA is expensive for those enrolled, campaigning Republicans were forced to commit to increasing affordability while protecting the law’s most important features. The only cost-effective solution will be a single-payer plan.