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Megan McArdle

Congress Achieves Bipartisan Failure on Obamacare

Still needed: a fix for America's dysfunctional health-care market.
Now what?

Now what?

Photographer: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

For months, I’ve been watching in a sort of wonder as Republicans crafted the most unpopular major bill in living memory. Could they really mean to make a suicide charge at this --not some longstanding Republican goal, like dismantling the welfare state or slashing through the regulatory thicket, but pushing a sly parody of Obamacare even less likable than its awkward source material? When Republicans explained how this would actually be a strong campaign strategy for 2018, I had astonished flashbacks to Democrats saying the same thing in 2010 … and wondered when it was that people in Washington started believing their own press releases. Were we really due for the Republican version of the 2010 Democratic lemming run?

No, apparently not. Senator Mike Lee of Utah has always been the man to watch on this bill, the bellwether who was ultimately going to lead the Senate one way or the other. Yesterday, he announced that he would vote no on the Motion to Proceed, which translated from the original Parliamentarian, means that this bill is not going anywhere. Requiescat in pace.