William Tecumseh Sherman, who laid waste to the South at the end of the Civil War, famously said, “War is Hell”. So, too, is health reform. And like Sherman’s infamous March to the Sea, where he burned town after Confederate town, the Republican War on Obamacare entered its attrition phase with the introduction on Monday in the House legislation to repeal and replace ObamaCare. Except that Ryan is marching in the wrong direction; his troops are marching “north” and burning towns behind their own lines.
Ryan’s bill released Monday was greeted with a chorus of derision from the newly empowered Republican base; some conservative wags dubbed the bill “RINOCare”. Thoughtful conservative analysts savaged it. Michael Cannon, the hard core libertarian Cato Institute health analyst, called it “a trainwreck waiting to happen” and suggested that “ it will create the potential for the sort of wave election Democrats experienced in 2008” In Reason.com, Peter Sunderman wrote, “it’s not clear what problems this particular bill would actually solve.”
Ryan’s draft neither repeals nor replaces ObamaCare.