Speaker Thom Tillis
“It’s not a detailed set of legislation; it’s a direction that tries to embrace only a handful of things that Obamacare seems to have right, but takes things in a very different direction, particularly in relation to how people pay for it.”But while Tillis is willing to praise Burr's plan—in part because he says it would "embrace" some of what Obamacare's got right—he's not willing to endorse it:
“I don’t think I need to come in with a plan,” he said in a recent interview. “I think we need to take a look at the ones that already exist and build on those.”Tillis still faces a Republican primary, which explains the pickle he's in and why he won't firmly commit to one position or another. But aside from what Tillis's political squishiness says about his candidacy, think about what this means for Obamacare's future: A Southern Republican facing a contested primary for U.S. Senate is sufficiently afraid of coming out against the benefits of Obamacare that he's willing to publicly admit that there are some things he likes about the law.
I don't point to that in order to praise Tillis, but rather to illustrate another demonstration of Obamacare's political resiliency, especially now that it's actually rolling out. For all the bogus "Obamacare horror stories" that right-wing groups have been advertising lately, even Republican politicians know that the real Obamacare horror stories would come from a dismantling of Obamacare.
It doesn't take a rocket scientist to understand this. Despite its rocky rollout, Obamacare has already hit four million enrollees. If Republicans repealed it, they would instantly generate four million horror stories. And no matter how much they talk about replacing it, they've yet to to come up with a viable alternative. Not surprisingly, only a tiny minority of Americans even want the GOP to try to replace Obamacare. Ultimately, Obamacare is here to stay. The only question is how long it will take for Republicans to try to claim credit for saving it.