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Republicans are incredibly relieved they don’t have a plan to replace Obamacare

For more than three years, Republicans have engaged each other in a heated debate over whether the proper response to the passage of the Affordable Care Act is to repeal it and replace it with something else, or to just repeal it and return to the pre-Obamacare status quo.

In effect, their actual position is the latter. They've voted to repeal the law over and over again, but have never reached a consensus on a single plan to replace it. And at times during the long lead-up to Obamacare's big launch, that failure has been a liability for them. It's damaged their credibility as healthcare reform critics with the press and the public alike. The old system sucked! Why should we go back to it?

Given how troubled the Obamacare rollout has been, you might think that Republicans are kicking themselves particularly hard right now for not settling on a "GOP healthcare plan." What better time to argue for repeal than under circumstances like these?

But you'd be wrong. If anything, they're incredibly relieved. Because a "replace" plan would neutralize what has proved to be one of their best, and relatedly most disingenuous, lines of attack against the law since it passed in 2010.

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