There is good reason to question the assumption that by failing once again to pass legislation repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act, Republicans have shot themselves in the foot. …
No doubt, failing to act on Obamacare will anger a portion of the Republican base, adding fuel to the insurrection against the Republican establishment and depressing turnout in states and districts where Republican incumbents who support the party’s leadership are running for reelection. But in the long run, it would have been more politically damaging to deprive low-income Americans, including millions of Trump supporters in red states, of the Medicaid coverage they would otherwise have enjoyed.
As behavioral economists have shown, the fear of loss is more acute than the hope of gain. Health policy perfectly illustrates this proposition. CONT.
William A. Galston, Brookings Institution