With Republican repeal-and-replace efforts temporarily sidelined, now is a good time to step back and take a big picture view of exactly how we got into the mess we are now in regarding health care.  What should be clear to people of all political persuasions is that Obamacare did not solve America’s health care woes.

If we take a long-term view (i.e., remembering that 90% of the nation’s population was uninsured back in 1940), the law has modestly reduced the number of uninsured. Most other promises made for the law were broken, most notably that a) if you like your plan, you can keep your plan (PolitiFact’s 2013 Lie of the Year); b) the law would lower premiums for the average family by $2,500 per year; c) the law would not add one dime to the deficit; and d) there would be no new taxes on the middle class. The jury is still out on another huge promise, but at this point I see no overwhelming evidence that the law has bent the cost curve as promised.

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Senate Republicans couldn’t agree on a way to repeal and replace Obamacare. So now they’re contemplating a totally different approach: Blow it up and let the states sort it out.

The latest attempt to resuscitate the GOP’s repeal bid would reshape the nation’s health care system by sharply curtailing the federal government’s role and placing the future of Obamacare in the hands of governors. But Republican senators will have a hard time overcoming the internal divisions that doomed their three attempts last week to unravel the Affordable Care Act.

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With the House on recess and the Senate’s leader saying it’s time to move on, a bipartisan group of more than 40 House members said Monday that Congress needs to act quickly to stabilize the individual health insurance market.

A five-point plan from the bipartisan Problem Solvers Caucus would abandon any pretense of repealing the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, while boosting spending, repealing one tax, and relaxing regulations.

The caucus, co-chaired by Republican Rep. Tom Reed of New York and Democratic Rep. Josh Gottheimer of New Jersey, is built around an agreement that once members reach consensus on issues, they pledge to vote as a bloc.

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A coalition of roughly 40 House Republicans and Democrats plan to unveil a slate of Obamacare fixes Monday they hope will gain traction after the Senate’s effort to repeal the law imploded.

The Problem Solvers caucus, led by Tom Reed (R-N.Y.) and Josh Gottheimer (D-N.J.), is fronting the effort to stabilize the ACA markets, according to multiple sources. But other centrist members, including Rep. Kurt Schrader (D-Ore.), and several other lawmakers from the New Democrat Coalition and the GOP’s moderate Tuesday Group are also involved.

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The Federalist: Surely there are some Democratic Senators who want to work on bipartisan fixes to Obamacare. Why are they not coming to the table?

Grace-Marie Turner: That’s actually what Senator Chuck Schumer said in an impassioned speech before Tuesday’s vote on the Senate floor: “Let us work in a bipartisan nature.” But sadly it’s disingenuous. Their bipartisanship means that the ACA stays in place and that you just add more money to it, or you create new regulations to force even more people to purchase coverage they don’t want.

The bipartisanship really is difficult because of the different ideologies we bring to the table. The words sound nice—and the Senate may wind up going there. But at that point “reform” is going to mean minor tweaks around the edges. We would end up having Obamacare forever if they move towards a ‘bipartisan’ process.

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Congress’s last-ditch attempt to pass a “skinny” bill to kill a few pieces of the health law — many of which Trump could have abolished himself with an executive order — collapsed.

In the intervening six months, Republicans were bedeviled by an enormous backlash from a public that suddenly decided it likes the health care law, cold feet over stripping health care coverage from millions of Americans, damaging intraparty squabbling and a White House that threw bombs at their efforts. Ultimately, an old truth held: Once politicians bestow social benefits, it’s almost impossible to take them away.

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President Donald Trump made one of his most explicit threats to cut off payments to insurance companies to force senators and lobbyists back to the bargaining table for a GOP health-care bill, and saying, for the first time, that he was also willing to cancel some of lawmakers’ health-care benefits.

“If a new HealthCare Bill is not approved quickly, BAILOUTS for Insurance Companies and BAILOUTS for Members of Congress will end very soon!” Mr. Trump tweeted Saturday.

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It was the most dramatic night in the United States Senate in recent history. Just ask the senators who witnessed it. A seven-year quest to undo the Affordable Care Act collapsed—at least for now—as Sen. John McCain kept his colleagues and the press corps in suspense over a little more than two hours late Thursday into early Friday. Not since September 2008, when the House of Representatives rejected the Troubled Asset Relief Program—causing the Dow Jones industrial average to plunge nearly 800 points in a single afternoon—had such an unexpected vote caused such a striking twist.

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“Repeal and replace” made Republicans electoral Supermen, but “pre-existing conditions” were their kryptonite. Senate Republicans played out the final scene of their legislative tragedy in the early hours of Friday morning when they formally laid to rest their seven-year effort to repeal the law. Through four election cycles, Obamacare’s rising premiums, burdensome cost-sharing, narrow networks, and plan cancellations helped fuel GOP electoral victories at every level of government. The failure suggests why the political consequences are likely to be deep and long-lasting.

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The GOP cannot simply “move on” and give up on health care. Health care is the biggest driver of our debt and deficit, the biggest driver of growth in government, and one of the biggest drivers of economic insecurity for those in the middle class and below. Take some time to reflect, yes. Come up with a better strategy, yes. But to give up on health-care reform is to give up on everything conservatives stand for.

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