Editors at National Review Online respond to former President Donald Trump’s recent provocative comments about the Affordable Care Act.

With a few short social-media posts, Donald Trump revived the dormant debate over repealing Obamacare. Trump posted that he was “seriously looking for alternatives” and said, “I don’t want to terminate Obamacare, I want to REPLACE IT with MUCH BETTER HEALTHCARE. Obamacare Sucks!!!” And he vowed that were he to return to power, “America will have one of the best Healthcare Plans anywhere in the world.”

We’ve seen this movie before.

In the four election cycles between the law’s passage in 2010 and Trump’s 2016 victory, Republicans ran on repealing and replacing Obamacare. But when finally given full control of Washington, they failed to deliver. Before taking office, Trump boasted that he would secure health insurance for everybody that was “much less expensive and much better,” without an actual plan to do so. Essentially, he deferred to Congress to work out the details. While his short attention span, erratic leadership style, and lack of interest in the mechanics of policy may have hindered the repeal effort, ultimately, he would have signed anything. Republicans had been talking about repeal even before Trump had entered politics, so they should have been much better prepared. They should now act on the lessons from that failure.

Given current polling, it’s quite likely that Trump will be the nominee and quite possible that he will become president again. Were that to happen, Republicans cannot be caught flat-footed once again on the issue of health care. They need to use the coming year to hash out whatever differences there are within the caucus and lay out a vision that could be unifying in the event that they take power.

While some parts of Obamacare were scaled back during the Trump presidency — most dramatically, the individual mandate was neutered by zeroing out the penalties for noncompliance — much of the program’s spending and its web of regulations remain in place.