Why do generals make the often humiliating decision to retreat from a battle? In order to suffer the small loss of retreating rather than the devastation of total defeat. That's what's happening now as the Republican Congress and the White House are swallowing a loss on the promise to repeal and replace Obamacare in the first 100 days of the new administration. But they're also promising to get this bill up for a vote within another week.
They'd be better off staying in retreat.
That's because the GOP replacement bill has been a mess from day one. First, Republican cowardice produced a new measure that basically kept the cost-exploding aspects of Obamacare in place, but pulled a good deal of what was already inadequate funding for it too.
When conservatives from the GOP Freedom Caucus couldn't back that bill, a slight change was made giving individual states the right to get waivers that release them from certain aspects of the replacement bill, like providing government subsidies and essential benefits. Yet there still aren't enough votes for House Speaker Paul Ryan to bring the bill to the full the House.
That's because it still stinks, and it stinks enough to know that another week of delays won't be enough to fix its problems. Yes, President Donald Trump and the other critics who have pointed out that Obamacare as it stands now is going to collapse. But the Republicans in Congress continue to think they can get away with a replacement bill that's more of a tweak than a replacement.