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Steps in the right direction on health care

President Trump raised the possibility that Majority Leader Mitch McConnell should step down if he can't muscle health care and other legislation through the Senate, taking an extraordinary swipe at the man with the most power to steer the White House agenda through the chamber. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Republican Senator Lamar Alexander of Tennessee, one of the most widely respected members of either House of Congress, has begun negotiating a last-ditch healthcare reform that deserves bipartisan support. His approach urges Republicans to extend insurance subsidies under Obamacare to prevent an imminent explosion in health insurance costs.

In return, Democrats would go along with giving states much broader leeway in deregulating insurance options under Obamacare, allowing lower cost policies without the expensive requirements in current federal law. Such a compromise could protect all Americans from wrenching changes in the cost or coverage of their current policies, while providing many customers with wider, better choices in the policies they choose.

This may not mean complete “repeal and replace” but it does move the government in the right direction. The opposing idea, that Republicans would triumph by letting Obamacare implode, makes no sense. Let’s hope that Senator Alexander’s effort can get bi-partisan support.

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