Democratic Sens. Mark Warner of Virginia, Mark Begich of Alaska, Mary Landrieu of Louisiana, Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota and Joe Manchin of West Virginia, as well as Sen. Angus King (I., Maine), plan to introduce as soon as Thursday a set of principles and legislation aimed at strengthening the health law, according to lawmakers and Senate Democratic aides.That's smart politics for those running this year, though the exact outlines of their proposals could make it not so great as policy. Their proposed "copper" plan might not be able to actually meet the minimum standards the law requires and still be affordable, and there already is a catastrophic option available for younger people. But in terms of pushing for the law to be retained and improved—that's what the polls having been telling us for months and months that they want.
"I've always been a believer that the law was not perfect, but you should continue to work to improve it," Mr. Begich said in an interview Wednesday. "People are seeing that as it's implemented, there are tweaks you need to do and there's just nothing wrong with that."
That said, the proposals are unlikely to see Senate action. Doing so would provide too much of an opening for Republican mischief, and they'd never let any bill that actually improves the law pass. Nor would it get even a hearing in the Republican House. There will be an opportunity, eventually, for improvements to the law. It's not going to be this year.