Political scientist and all around smart guy Carl Scott asks why I think the filibuster will have to go if we are to truly get rid of Obamacare. The short answer is that I have trouble seeing how we get sixty votes in the Senate to either restore the pre-Obamacare status quo or to enact, on a national level, one of the several kinds of market-oriented health care reform. I'm under no illusions that the David Goldhill or James Capretta-style health care reforms you will find in the above links are popular. In fact the vast majority of the public (probably including most self-identified conservatives) have barely even heard of them in any detail. I can imagine a (not especially likely) scenario where some version of the above policies win majority support within Congress and the electorate (though like I said, the obstacles would be huge), but I don't see the breadth of support you would need for a bill embodying those kinds of policies to get sixty votes in the Senate.
The Democrats know how high the stakes are on health care. The Democratic leadership, the liberal-leaning media institutions, and the Democratic base would go all out against free market-oriented health care reform. Unless we have the kind of Republican Senate supermajorities that we haven't seen in eighty years or unless red and purple state Democratic Senators think it is death to vote against cloture, I don't see how there aren't 41 Senate Democratic votes to filibuster free market-oriented health care reform to death. I don't expect that, even under an optimistic scenario, the public will support David Goldhill or James Capretta-style health care reform by the same huge margins that the public supported Lawrence Mead-style welfare reforms in the 1990s. I don't expect the Senate Democrats to split down the middle regarding whether to block free market-oriented health care reform. Alice Rivlin is a former Clinton OMD Director and she worked with Paul Ryan to come up with a plan to voucherize Medicare and block grant Medicaid. If more Democrats were like her I would be more optimistic, but I don't think there is (at this moment) any significant constituency within the Democratic political coalition for free market-oriented health care reform. The issue of opposing a Goldhill or Capretta-style reform is more likely to unify than divide congressional Democrats. I do think there is room for creative conservative politicians to form alliances with local elected Democratic politicians to advance certain kinds of state-level reforms like allowing cities to offer municipal employees an HSA/catastrophic coverage option that might save municipalities money on rising employee health care costs while avoiding layoffs.
I might still favor retaining the filibuster if I didn't believe that the Democrats would ditch the filibuster themselves if they had a narrow majority in the Senate and a narrow majority among the public in favor of single-payer and the filibuster was all that stood in the way of government-run health care.