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As long as Republicans are in power, Obamacare will never be safe.

Jim Watson/Getty

On Tuesday, Senate Republicans made it official: Graham-Cassidy, the latest and most odious attempt to repeal Obamacare, was dead. With Rand Paul, John McCain, and Susan Collins all opposing the bill, Mitch McConnell decided to not go through the indignity of putting it up for a vote:

With the clock ticking—the Senate parliamentarian set September 30 as a deadline to use the reconciliation process—Obamacare is safe(-ish) for now, in large part due to progressive organizations and activists. These groups and individuals have tied up phone lines and clogged Capitol hallways and were, once again, aided by a small, rag-tag group of Republicans who opposed the bill for their own reasons. Rand Paul didn’t believe that the bill was conservative enough. John McCain was protesting the Republican Party’s deviation from “regular order.” And Susan Collins thought the bill would be a disaster.

But as long as Republicans are in power, Obamacare will never be safe. And, as many have noted over the past several months, attempts to repeal Obamacare tend to proceed whenever people think the law is safe. Graham and Cassidy have vowed to keep trying to replace Obamacare with block grants.

The definition of insanity is trying to do the same thing over and over again expecting different results. But Republicans, locked in a political trap of their own making, aren’t going to give this up. Obamacare is safe only until the next attempt to repeal it. And, given recent history, that probably won’t be long from now.