Democrats in the Senate might start the 115th Congress with hopes of creating their own brand of health policy gridlock, but they could still end up compromising.
Scott Behrens, a compliance specialist at Lockton Cos., a Kansas City, Missouri-based insurance broker, makes that case in new commentary on why Republicans have a shot at replacing the Affordable Care Act, not simply repealing parts of its using the budget reconciliation process.
Some Senate Democrats are up for reelection in 2018 in states that supported Trump, Behrens writes.
“The Democrats want desperately to protect those seats, and might conclude they can’t afford to be cast as the party that wouldn’t help put a replacement plan in place,” Behrens writes.
Behrens says the Republicans face risks, too.
“The election provided Republicans with political capital to quickly move on repealing the ACA, but they recognize that bungling the repeal and replacement effort would quickly exhaust that capital,” he says.
Republicans could also change their rhetoric about a quick ACA repeal if the political risks of a quick repeal appear to outweigh the benefits, he says.