With the collapse of the Republican American Healthcare Act the Democrats have a unique opportunity to actually seize the day and do something positive. Just as the Republicans for seven years have said they wanted to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, Democrats have been saying that the basic structure is sound but there is need for tweaking and fixing. They need to get those tweaks and fixes out (if they exist) to the populace and then start working with moderate Republicans who, until the failure of the GOP to put their legislation where their mouth has been, were less likely to be spotted than unicorns. There may now exist a chance for the US Congress to really work together and get something done for the people.
The Republican Party has been exposed as a fractured party with extreme right, conservative and moderate factions just as the Democrats have a Progressive/Conservative split. If the Democrats could really propose common sense fixes to the ACA they just might be able to pull the 24 Republican votes needed to reach 218.
As a result of the ultraconservative proposals in the AHCA the people have seen what the GOP has meant by replacing the ACA and they have vociferously shouted it down. The town hall meetings where Republican rep after rep took a beating from their constituents has made some of them realize that the far right ideas put forth by leadership are not what the people in any sense find acceptable. A real 'mend don't end' grassroots movement has sprung up and that will give the Democrats the chance to make sensible, not ideological, proposals that the constituents will back, thus forcing those more moderate Republicans to be seen as doing what they were elected to do.
The numbers should be there; the Republicans could lose only 24 and there were far more than that not willing to vote for the version pushed by the House leadership. If the Democrats can be willing to forego the urge to propose something purely Progressive, like single payer (even though the case could be made that single payer is what the majority of Americans want) they might just be able to keep the ACA viable, improve the lives of our citizens, be seen as responsible leaders and set the stage to defeat soundly the ultraconservative bullies that have ruled the Republican Party for far too many years.