Hope for measured health care approach

Republican and Democratic senators announced Tuesday an agreement on a plan to keep the health care insurance markets from collapsing like an imploded high-rise. And oddly enough, President Donald Trump, who just last week ordered the termination of “Obamacare” subsidies, spoke favorably on the deal to undo his administrative order.

The order, to end the monthly cost sharing reduction payments to reduce premium costs for low-income people, would have raised the cost of insurance for those who can least afford it, and chase some insurance companies out of an already tenuous market.

Republican Sen. Lamar Alexander of Tennessee and Democratic Sen. Patty Murray of Washington announced a plan to continue the payments for two years while establishing new rules for states under the Affordable Care Act to give them more flexibility. It is a reprieve for the program, setting a deadline for fixing some of the major problems with the ACA.

The major obstacle for the plan is opposition from the conservative Republicans who would just as soon dump the ACA right now.

But there is really no need to rush. Two years seems a reasonable amount of time for planning how to deal with the extraordinarily tangled ACA law. Republicans, after all, had seven years under the Obama administration to come up with a better plan and failed to do more than pass a series of futile repeal actions.

A measured approach to the problem is preferable to the chaos that an out-and-out repeal would bring.