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Matthew Yglesias Watches Douglas Holtz-Eakin Continue to Set His Own Credibility on Fire

Matthew Yglesias:

Yglesias » Is Repealing the Affordable Care Act Secretly About Replacing It With a Different Secret Law?: In a word: No. But don’t tell wonk-turned-hack Douglas Holtz-Eakin who explains:

Replacing PPACA with real health-care reform that delivers quality care at lower costs. That is what the repeal vote is really about.

I always forget if I’m allowed to use the word “bullshit” on an official CAPAF website (that was a mention—thanks Professor Goldfarb!), but I think this is best analogized to the solid waste of a male bovine. This just isn’t how public policy works. We change (or “replace”) laws all the time, and it doesn’t happen by first repealing predecessor laws tout court and then gesturing vaguely at a replacement. My guess is that Holtz-Eakin has a bunch of ideas about ways to improve health care policy in the United States relative to the post-ACA status quo. My guess is that I even agree with some of those ideas. The way to get those ideas enacted is to start explaining them to the press and the public and start talking to members of congress about turning them into bills.

At this point I’m not actually sure what the repeal vote is “really” about, but it’s definitely not about starting concrete conversations about further changes to the American health care system...

I was much more impressed by the Republican economists who did not sign than by those who did.