Harold Pollack writing at Politico:
There was a conspicuous smallness to this AHCA effort, a puzzling shoddiness given the human and political stakes. Many in the GOP, above all President Trump, seemed strangely uninterested in the policy details. To the extent Republicans did have an animating passion, it was to puncture President Obama’s legacy—and to avoid looking foolish by failing to honor their “repeal and replace” rhetoric.
Only they had no viable replacement. For all their endless warnings about how Obama’s signature health law was hurting American families, driving up costs and putting us on the path toward socialism, it turns out they didn’t care enough to put in the work.
"A puzzling shoddiness"? It's not really all that puzzling.
Republicans either wanted to kick Obama in the shins, or they didn't believe that the federal government should be helping people get healthcare, or both. Most of them are too embarrassed to admit to that outside their circle-jerk think tanks, the exception being the Freedom Caucus whackos who have relied up to this point on the fact that their insane theories will never actually be put into practice.
And now they find themselves responsible for actually governing, an idea on which they have spent decades shitting. Of course the only legislation they can come up with is toxic garbage that no one actually wants, because their ideas are toxic garbage.
It only seems puzzling because thrift-store intellects like Paul Ryan, along with compliant media enablers and mealy-mouthed centrists, had convinced themselves that they had Big Ideas.