The political fiasco that unfolded last week as President Trump and the Republican House leadership failed to pass legislation repealing the Affordable Care Act, commonly called ObamaCare, is attributable as much to the failure of politics as it is to the failure of politicians to understand the constitutional role of the federal government.
Republicans could not muster a majority in the House, which they control, because a determined small group of them want to remove the federal government from the regulation of health care and believe that the replacement for ObamaCare that House leaders have offered would keep too much of it in place. The president and his allies have argued that their bill would invalidate enough of ObamaCare to return free choices to health care and to fulfill their campaign promises. Neither side has prevailed.
Here is the back story.
When Congress passed ObamaCare in 2010, it did so without a single Republican vote. The premise underlying the highly partisan 2,700-page legislation is that health care is a right belonging to everyone in America and the federal government has a constitutional duty to provide it.