Pass repeated bills for full repeal of Obamacare. These bills probably won’t pass the Senate, and if they do Obama will veto them. That doesn’t matter. Pass them anyway and keep doing it. This process will pressure vulnerable Democratic Senators who are up for reelection in 2012 to justify their support of the unpopular new law. Some of them, perhaps enough to get a bill through the Senate, might eventually vote for repeal. That would help them and hurt Obama and the far-left Democratic leadership. Passing repeated bills, even if only in the House, forces Obama to continue justifying his program. Assuming that he continues to oppose repeal, his actions become a significant political liability in 2012 when his healthcare scheme will probably be even more unpopular than it is today. Having to respond to sequential repeal bills would also force him to expend a lot of whatever political capital he has left in the defense of an old policy rather than in making new mischief.
What Congressional Republicans should NOT do is what Mitch McConnell is suggesting they will do: make a perfunctory attempt at repeal, and when that fails negotiate marginal changes that strip out some of the most irritating features but leave the core of the socialized-medicine monstrosity in place. That is what the Democrats want. The want the public to dislike the program less, and they would be delighted if Republicans got involved in the process and, by helping the Democrats to smooth over some of the rougher edges, came to own part of the program themselves. Then the Republicans can be blamed if (when) things go sour in the future. Republicans should not fall into this trap. The new health law is essentially bad. To allow any part of this bureaucratic weed to survive is to insure its permanence. Republicans should make every possible effort to eradicate it. They might succeed, and if they don’t they will at least escape most of the blame once Americans start to feel the full destructive weight of the new system.