Republicans do not need to return to health-care reform immediately. There are many other issues, from infrastructure to immigration, that would more closely align with the animating issues of the Trump campaign and where important reforms are needed. However, there could be a political risk in not making some attempt at health-care reform. Republicans have had significant electoral victories over the past few cycles in part because of public frustration with the many shortcomings of the Affordable Care Act, and the U.S. medical system is in need of reform. If Republicans do return to health care, they could simply seek an outright repeal of the Affordable Care Act….
Pascal-Emmanuel Gobry has argued that conservatives should do the following policy two-step: “Slash regulations. And then subsidize health care.” There’s a certain logic to this process. It would allow Republicans to focus on health-care efforts that might be more popular (market-oriented reforms) while avoiding parts that might be more divisive (such as cutting Medicaid for the poor and working class). Rather than “repeal and replace,” it could instead be called “reform and retain.”