Here's the bottom line: Republicans didn't want to repeal Obamacare that badly. Obamacare was a useful tool for them. For years, they could use it to score short-term messaging victories.
People are steamed about high premiums? We'll message on that today. People are angry about losing insurance coverage? We'll put out a devastating YouTube video about that. Seniors are angry about the Medicare cuts? Let's tweet about it. High deductibles are unpopular? We'll issue an email fact sheet. Or maybe a gif. At no point were they willing to do the hard work of hashing out their intraparty policy differences and developing a coherent health agenda or of challenging the central liberal case for universal coverage.
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