How Repeal Died—And Could Rise Again

[ Originally published on this site as post ]

In the wee hours of Friday morning, the last gasp of Senate Republicans’ efforts to repeal Obamacare died, amid applause and tears.

The last proposal on the table, the “skinny repeal”—if it can really be called a repeal—wasn’t one of the options germinating for years in conservative intellectual circles, or even the blanket return to status quo ante that Republicans had promised for years. Rather, the bill that hit the floor late Thursday night was written earlier that day at lunch. It was a slapdash scramble from Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to roll back something in Obamacare after months of stalled bills, protests, and rapidly deteriorating public opinion.

The seeds of McConnell’s failure were planted way back in January, when House Republicans