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Health care collapse raises worst case scenario for GOP in 2018

Andrew Harnik / AP

"Weary Republicans in Washington may be ready to move on. But conservatives around the country are warning that the GOP-led Congress cannot abandon its pledge to repeal the Affordable Care Act without triggering an electoral nightmare," AP's Steve Peoples and Tom Beaumont write:

"The Senate's failure to pass a repeal has triggered a new wave of fear and outrage among the party. Conservative groups say senators who voted against the bill are 'sellouts.' ... Trump's allies pledge to run conservative challengers against uncooperative Republicans. And party leaders are warning of deep disillusionment and cynicism among the most passionate GOP voters."

A WashPost front-pager ("Democrats could exploit GOP stagnation in 2018") points out that Republicans "now live in the worst of both worlds — with nothing to show for seven years of campaign promises, even though dozens of vulnerable lawmakers cast votes that could leave them exposed to attacks from Democrats." Mike DeBonis and Amber Phillips write:

  • "[T]he collapse of the repeal effort has left conservative activists fuming about how the GOP could have flinched and pondering payback for the party establishment — particularly several moderate senators who voted for ACA repeal legislation when it had no chance of becoming law only to balk when it did."
  • Why it matters: "Numerous House lawmakers leaving a closed-door Republican conference meeting hours after the Senate bill collapsed said that efforts to undo the increasingly popular health law would have to continue."