Having persuaded their credulous minions that Obama care is the second coming of the Communist Manifesto (rather than the brain child of a right-wing think tank it really is) the Republicans are pretty publicly committed to recall. Romney is still mouthing "repeal and replace" but that doesn't appeal to his Tea Party brethren and he dare not try to give his "replace" any substance. Meanwhile, back on planet Earth, a bunch of Republicans are having second thoughts, since a number of provisions of Obama's law are pretty popular.

David Brooks has a version of replace that turns out to look a heck of a lot like Obamacare. David Frum thinks repeal is a fool's errand, and that Republicans should focus on sensible modifications to the law. He has a version which would hardly cause any liberal heartburn. I've just saved the headlines.

1) Universal coverage has been extended. It won't be retracted, and it shouldn't be retracted. Not only will universal coverage lift a wholly unnecessary misery from the lives of millions, improving the health and welfare of the whole population, but it will also be a spur to economic productivity. Ending the fear of loss of coverage will encourage people to launch new businesses and to change jobs.

2) We should want gradually to sever the connection between employment and coverage for the same reasons as Point 1.

3) We should want to merge the coverage system for under-65s and over-65s. ...

4) We should want to give states the decisive role in defining and shaping healthcare service within their boundaries.

5) We should want to control costs, and indeed to drive them down to levels prevailing in other advanced economies. ...

6) It's important that healthcare be financed in ways that share costs broadly. ...

I think that's a pretty conservative program, actually.

That's good, because I think it's pretty liberal. I endorse 1-3 wholeheartedly. I don't think (4) makes sense for a federally financed program, but that's a small matter. (5) was a key point in Obamacare until wing-nut hysteria over "death-panels" drove it out.

I don't see the TPers buying it, though.


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