That didn't take long.
After Donald Trump's upset victory over rival Hillary Clinton Tuesday, conservatives across various media platforms expressed just how critical it would be to hold Trump's feet to the fire concerning the promises he'd made. Now, it appears as though conservatives will have to reach for the president-elect's ankles much sooner than anticipated.
During an exclusive interview with The Wall Street Journal, Donald Trump walked back his "repeal and replace" rhetoric regarding President Obama's Affordable Care Act (ACA) "after the president asked him to reconsider repealing it during their meeting at the White House on Thursday."
That's all it took for Trump to crumble.
"I told him I will look at his suggestions, and out of respect, I will do that...Either Obamacare will be amended, or repealed and replaced."
Repealed and replaced...or amended. Trump told WSJ that he likes two provisions of the ACA: Not allowing insurance companies to refuse clients with pre-existing conditions, and allowing individuals to stay on their parents' healthcare plan until the age of 26.
It would be an overreaction to say that Trump's willingness to "look at" President Obama's suggestions is tantamount to giving in. That said, considering Trump's history of flip-flops, his words and behavior need to be intensely scrutinized. Moreover, Trump is on record saying that he's amenable to the exact opposite of market-based, patient-oriented healthcare reform, praising single-payer systems on multiple occasions.
What's troubling is that Trump doesn't seem to realize that a full "repeal and replace" strategy would include solutions to the pre-existing conditions issue, as well as any other problems one might believe have been dealt with under Obamacare.
The mission to repeal and replace the ACA comes from a basic conservative desire to tear a statist cancer out of the American body politic, and offer an alternative that's not only economically healthy, but beneficial to those in need of healthcare. The fact that Trump doesn't seem to understand that is cause for concern.
Three days in, and already conservatives need to smack Trump across the face with reason. As the president-elect himself would say: Bad!