The party in charge knows what it’s against. But after seven years of demagoguing about health-care reform, it still has no clue what it’s for.

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To understand why Republicans are having such trouble with health care, you don’t need to go back to the beginning. Start at the end:

“Let Obamacare fail,” the leader of the country said Tuesday.

“I think we’re probably in that position where we’ll let Obamacare fail,” President* Trump said, now that GOP reform efforts have stalled. “We’re not going to own it. I’m not going to own it. I can tell you the Republicans are not going to own it.”

That a president would root for Americans to lose medical coverage, for a large business market to crater, for hospitals to strain once again with charity care, for small clinics to close and so on — all as a way to settle a political score — is why I put an *asterisk next to his title. It’s just not something a president would say or believe. At least not a normal one.

But it’s also revealing of why the GOP is paralyzed in the nation’s capital right now, despite having total control.

When it comes to health care, they only know what they’re against. They have no clue what they’re for.

The crusade to repeal Obamacare is now seven years on. But the party still has no coherent idea of what to replace it with. That’s not on Trump — that’s a party-wide affliction.

The main hang-up is that many of them don’t believe government should be involved much in helping people get medical care. So right at the foundation, any GOP health care reform by definition is going to cover fewer people than the alternatives.

This leads directly to problem two. Cutting people off health care is so unpopular that the party, led now by Trump, simply lies about it.

“You’re going to have such great health care at a tiny fraction of the cost,” Trump said during the campaign. “It’s going to be so easy.”

This went beyond demagoguery into sheer fantasy. Which just ran aground on reality.

There are only a couple of ways to insure people who are poor or very sick. You can shift resources from the wealthy to help cover the poor. And you can have the healthy pay more to mitigate the high costs of treating the sick. Obamacare did some of both of these things. As a result, 20 million more people have coverage. But the trade-offs were that the wealthy paid higher taxes and some healthier people paid higher premiums.

Repealing Obamacare would simply reverse these two things. Nobody should be surprised that the GOP plans slash coverage for the poor in exchange for tax cuts for the rich — because that’s the opposite of Obamacare. Nor that the sick would pay more. These flaws in the GOP plans were baked into the ideological cake.

They are also why almost everyone now professes to hate the GOP bill — in a national poll released Tuesday, it clocks in at just 20 percent support.

The GOP seems preprogrammed to resist the obvious solution: Fix Obamacare. What if they had started with “how can we help people?” instead of “how can we repeal our enemy’s legacy?”

Some are retroactively asking this. As one Republican senator, Shelley Moore Capito from West Virginia, said on Tuesday when explaining she would vote “no” to repeal Obamacare: “I did not come to Washington to hurt people.”

OK, but … your colleagues? Why are they there? In our state for instance, Obamacare has extended medical coverage to 600,000 people who didn’t have it before. What does Capito’s comment imply about, say, Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Spokane, who has crusaded consistently to take that coverage away?

The only good news in this complete political meltdown is that “reality,” on the run in our politics, has briefly reasserted itself. In that sense, the reason the Republican health plan is failing is pretty simple: It’s because people saw it was worse than what we’ve got.

Now if only people would see how insane it is to have a president cheering for his own country’s health-care system to crash.