Rx, Republican Style

By EDITORIAL  |  July 3, 2012

Even staunch supporters of ACA will readily admit that the legislation is far from perfect. But it is a base from which to proceed. This, of course, is what drives Republicans crazy.

So too is the fact that Obamacare is based on a Republican idea, hatched in a conservative think tank, the Heritage Foundation, in 1989, and proposed — unsuccessfully — by GOP senators in 1993. (As surprising as it may seem, even Richard Nixon took a stab at what might be considered a first draft of the ACA in 1974.)

Just six years ago, Mitt Romney — then governor of Massachusetts, now the soon-to-be-anointed Republican presidential nominee — championed that idea, including the very same mandate that adults either receive insurance at work or purchase it for themselves and their families.

Understandable cheers went up when the Supreme Court upheld the individual mandate — especially given that the conservative Republican Chief Justice John Roberts was the swing vote and the author of the majority decision.

There is, however, less to Roberts's decision than meets the eye.

Yes, Roberts's vote may be historically significant, but in practical policy terms Roberts saved Obama's face while costing the Democrats considerably.

It's emerging that, by striking down the Medicare portion of ACA, Roberts may have seriously compromised Obamacare: it's now possible that more people could lose coverage than gain it.

Still, the bottom line is clear: thanks to ACA, more people will receive health benefits in the future than enjoy them today.

That is what makes the mindless opposition of Romney and the Republican party so gut-wrenchingly perverse.

Beyond the hypocrisy of claiming that a Republican-birthed idea is dangerously un-American, beyond the shame of committing itself to denying tens of millions of uninsured Americans the practical benefits of health care, the Republican intransigence to Obamacare is an exercise in nihilism.

Look into the heart and soul of the GOP and you see a void. The Republican Party is committed to the destruction of anything that stands between itself and absolute power.

Happy birthday, America.

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