Has The Ryan Budget Fiasco Dampened The GOP’s Enthusiasm For Repealing And Replacing The Health Law?

Politico’s Jen Haberkorn wonders what’s happened to the GOP’s pledge to stop at nothing to “repeal and replace” the Affordable Care Act and discovers that a combination of fatigue for fighting the uphill battle and the political fall out following Rep. Paul Ryan’s (R-WI) budget have made Republicans somewhat weary of pressing ahead:

Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa), one of the House’s most ardent supporters of repealing or defunding the law at all costs, says it has become more difficult to get the attention of House leaders.

“I can’t get any traction,” he said of his effort to repeal or defund the law. “You can’t create something in this Congress unless leadership approves it.”

He questioned whether Republican leaders are willing to repeal the whole law if it means also repealing some of its popular provisions.

“There’s a little bit of an undercurrent that I pick up among well-positioned people in this Congress who think there could be some redeeming qualities of Obamacare,” pointing to statements Republican leadership have made in support of a handful of the law’s policies, such as banning insurers from denying patients because of preexisting conditions or allowing children to remain on their parents’ insurance through age 26.

This “undercurrent” for supporting portions of the law is also prevalent among the candidates in the 2012 presidential field, who regularly concede that there is some “good” in the measure — after all, many have previously embraced its most controversial provisions. And, now that Americans are enjoying some of the benefits of reform — at least 600,000 young adults are now obtaining coverage through their parents’ plans, seniors are taking advantage of the new preventive care measures and receiving drug discounts — the Republican leadership is heeding a key lesson from the Ryan budget battle: campaigning on taking away coverage and increasing cost is not a winning political strategy.