Power to the patients: at a primary-care clinic in Chicago, June 2012
Jim Young / Reuters

Perhaps no U.S. law has been more passionately opposed by Republicans than the Affordable Care Act. For the past eight years, they have repeatedly pledged to abolish Obamacare, with the House of Representatives voting more than 50 times to repeal it. U.S. President Donald Trump took office promising to do just that. In May, after months of heated negotiations, including two failures to corral votes within their own party, House Republicans managed—barely—to pass their first real replacement, the American Health Care Act

Despite this victory, the bill will likely face months of deliberation in the Senate, where legislators on both sides of the aisle have already deplored its hostility to the poor, the old, and the 24 million who stand to lose coverage. Yet the biggest obstacle goes beyond legislative politics. It’s the subtle but unmistakable shift in perspective that Obamacare triggered among the public: for the

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  • SEJAL HATHI is an M.D./M.B.A. candidate at Stanford University. BOB KOCHER is an Adjunct Professor at the Stanford University School of Medicine and a Partner at the venture capital firm Venrock, where he invests in health-care information technology companies. In 2009–10, he served as Special Assistant to the President for Healthcare and Economic Policy on the U.S. National Economic Council.
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