If you want a good barometer of Republican triumphalism at the moment, check out Professor Randy Barnett’s op-ed at USA Today suggesting that the two parties work together on an Obamacare repeal-and-replace bill so that (a) the Supreme Court has no last-minute misgivings about killing the Affordable Care Act’s subsidies in 36 states this spring, and (b) insurance and health care companies will not be discomfited by any SCOTUS-generated disruptions.

It sure seems Barnett’s concern for disruption doesn’t extend itself to the people who rely on the Affordable Care Act for access to insurance. His suggested “replacement” bill would “[r]estore the private insurance market using actuarially based insurance priced according to risk.” That means no community rating or any ban on preexisting condition exclusions, and Barnett doesn’t even bother to offer the usual withered booby-prize of high-risk pools.

But the main thrust of Barnett’s proposal is to protect conservatives–and even SCOTUS–from a violent backlash if and when Republican voters figure out they’ve been screwed by their own politicians, swept up in a blind rage against Obama and all his works. And he figures Democrats will cooperate, because what else do they have to do?


Our ideas can save democracy... But we need your help! Donate Now!

Ed Kilgore is a political columnist for New York and managing editor at the Democratic Strategist website. He was a contributing writer at the Washington Monthly from January 2012 until November 2015, and was the principal contributor to the Political Animal blog.