I'm struck by how many people in D.C. health care circles are predicting the same outcome for the Obamacare repeal battles: Trump and congressional Republicans will end up with a program that's built on the framework of Obamacare, but modified to reflect Republican principles, like:
- More choices of health coverage
- An alternative to the individual mandate
- More flexibility for states to try different approaches
In other words, the repeal will really be a rebranding of Obamacare, and Republicans will have to sell the hell out of it. Always Be Closing!
That's not coming from hard intel from the Trump team, but it is the most popular prediction I'm hearing from experienced and politically savvy industry officials in Washington. They're not Democrats, but others who have been through the political battles many times and usually have a pretty good idea how they're going to turn out.
Trump has proven them wrong many times before, and he could again. But the argument is, there are only so many ways to cover as many people as Obamacare has, and once Republicans work through that process, their version may not look as different as the Trump voters may have hoped.
What's your prediction? Let me know.