The Affordable Care Act was signed into law seven years and one day ago. Which means that Republicans have had seven years and one day to figure out exactly what their replacement for Obamacare would look like.

They failed.

As it turns out, Republicans have been pretty effective at scaring the bejesus out of people with warnings about death panels and socialism and catastrophic economic damage—none of which has been borne out by reality. The last three months, however, have shown that Republicans are less good at actually governing, which is perhaps to be expected. Much of the House’s GOP caucus rose to power during the Obama administration—they’ve always been the opposition party and never had responsibility for governing. The White House, meanwhile, is full of novices and nitwits; they’re no good at it either. And health care, as the president seems to have finally figured out, is complicated stuff, which is why Obamacare took a year of painstaking debate of negotiation to squeak by.

In the end, the death of the American Health Care Act, which Paul Ryan and company conceived and tried to ram through in a mere eighteen days, was a merciful act, sparing House Republicans a choice between voting against President Trump or voting for a historically unpopular piece of legislation that might doom their reelection chances. It was merciful, too, in that it was a heartless bill that would’ve left twenty-four million Americans without health insurance so that rich people could get a tax break.

So, for now at least, Obamacare lives, thanks to Republican incompetence.