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Trumpcare? Why Not? (Editorial)

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There was one undisputed winner of Tuesday’s election: the Affordable Care Act.

Democrats’ shrewd leverage of the act’s protection of pre-existing conditions was fundamental to helping them regain the House of Representatives.

The nation’s health care system and its failings are as important to Republicans as to Democrats, according to a Reuters/Ipsos opinion poll released Thursday: “Fifty-four percent of Democrats and 55 percent of Republicans surveyed said the new Congress should prioritize addressing the U.S. healthcare system.”

The poll didn’t examine how respondents would like to see the system changed, but it did confirm the bipartisan nature of Americans’ concern. And in an era when political divisions appear only to be widening, health care could supply President Donald Trump with an issue on which it might be possible for him to earn bipartisan support — perhaps the only such issue.

In a press conference last week, the president, who has famously presented himself as a dealmaker without peer, indicated a willingness to negotiate with Democrats. “There are many things we can get along on without a lot of trouble, that we agree very much with them and they agree with us,” he said, citing health care as one of those things. “I would like to see bipartisanship.”

For his part, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell made it clear that after eight years of fruitless effort, Republicans were done — for now — with trying to kill Obamacare. Instead, he suggested that Congress seek to correct the very real problems of the Affordable Care Act “on a bipartisan basis.”

And House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, the likely new speaker of the House, said she was eager to find common ground.

We suggest Trump lead the drive to fix the ACA, slap his brand on it and call it Trumpcare.

It’s a fantasy, but we live in hope.

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