Part of the pivot by the White House -- and McConnell -- to the idea of "repeal then replace" is because they need to say something following such a consequential defeat at the hands of their own party.
But, there's very little chance that such a plan will work. After all, the reason that congressional leaders did "repeal and replace" was because their initial idea of "repeal then replace" wasn't going anywhere. As CNN congressional reporter Phil Mattingly tweeted Monday night: "Your weekly reminder that repeal only, then replace, was the original Hill GOP plan. It was deemed un-passable. Hence repeal/replace."
And, if you thought the Congressional Budget Office report on the proposed Senate bill was bad, take a gander at the numbers on the idea of repeal then replace.
On Monday afternoon at an event touting "Made in America" week, President Donald Trump said this about the health care legislation: "We're getting it together and it's going to happen. Right, Mike (Pence)? I think."
The truth is he had no idea -- of the vote count or the policy debate. The idea that Trump was going to get on the phone with, say, a noted policy maven like Ohio's Rob Portman and offer a convincing case for why Portman needed to be for the bill was laughable. Trump didn't know or seem to care about the particulars. He just wanted to sign something and declare victory.