Over the last few years, nothing has been more of a cause célèbre for Republicans than killing and then “replacing” Obamacare. And when news came out earlier this year that premiums were shooting up by 25% for many people, it seemed like the silver bullet the GOP had been looking for all along. Donald Trump’s election as president, along with Democrats’ inability to retake the U.S. Senate seemed to be the final nails in the program’s coffin.
But wait! A new study reveals that Obamacare is showing surprising strength, with massive numbers of new sign-ups. In part, New York magazine reports, that’s because the premium hikes appear to have been a one-time event rather than a harbinger of continued increases. More to the point, the millions of new registrants will make it far harder for Republicans to dismantle Obamacare than if the program had simply withered on the vine as Paul Ryan and his colleagues had hoped. After all, people are not going to be happy if Congress takes away a benefit that they like.