‘Repeal and Replace’: Words Still Hanging Over G.O.P.’s Health Care Strategy

In March 2010, on the day before President Obama was to sign the Affordable Care Act into law, a group of senior Republican aides huddled in Senator Mitch McConnell’s Capitol suite to try to come up with a catchy slogan to use against it.

Many conservatives were simply advocating a vow to repeal the new law, but Republican strategists worried that pressing for repeal without an alternative could backfire. So they batted around a few ideas before Josh Holmes, then a top communications adviser to Mr. McConnell, tossed out the nicely alliterative phrase “repeal and replace.” That seemed to do the job, with its promise to get rid of the new law detested by Republicans while suggesting that something better would follow. …

Mr. Holmes acknowledged that he had to create only the phrase, not the actual replacement.

“I don’t do policy,” he said with a laugh. CONT.

Carl Hulse, New York Times

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