1. Health Care has always been a Democratic issue because they had the great sob stories. But for the first time, we are beginning to see sob stories about people who’ve been screwed by government. If Republicans play their cards right, they have the potential to seize this issue in much the same way as — post-Iraq war — Democrats stole national security and foreign policy back from Republicans. Opportunities to change the natural political skew of an issue don’t come around very often, so it’s vital for Republicans to be ready.
2. The real problem for Obama might begin when people start showing up at their doctor’s office and are told they’re no longer in the “network” — or that they have no proof of insurance. People don’t tend to have a terribly close relationship with their insurance broker, but theydo have a very intimate relationship with their doctor. Obama’s “If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor” line might be the next huge disaster.
3. In order to capitalize, conservatives will have to be ready with a realistic alternative. Over the years, many ideas have been floated by people like Rep. Tom Price, Martin Feldstein, and (most recently) Ramesh Ponnuru and Yuval Levin. As opposed to mandates, these ideas typically involve tax credits, catastrophic coverage with high deductibles and low premiums, the ability to purchase across state lines, etc.