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Andy Ostroy Headshot

Why They Hate Obamacare So Much

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Shut it down!! Shut it down!! Shut it down!!

Republican leaders from House Speaker John Boehner to whip Eric Cantor are threatening to shut down the government unless a resolution passes which keeps it afloat and defunds Obamacare. Clearly, the only thing these rapacious obstructionists hate more than Obama himself is his health care reform.

What it's clearly boiled down to is that Republicans are possessed by an overpowering psychological compulsion to repeal Obamacare even at great cost and harm to America and the GOP despite forty-one previously failed legislative attempts to do so. And now they can't stop. It's about raging, venomous, unprecedented partisan ego and out-of-control anger. The hope for logical, rational, country-first thinking has been decidedly killed off by a macro dose of hostility, resentment and fear; fear that Americans will ultimately grow to love Obamacare once they get a taste... and that there'll be no turning back.

What I suspect also drives some of these rabid repealers is an unhealthy measure of racial animus. There are many on the right who still cannot get over their visceral disgust that a black man and his family are occupying the White House (it's called White House for a reason)... but it's Obamacare which really gets them frothing at the mouth. To them Obamacare translates to a black man taking hard-working rich white-folk money to give free shit to poor, lazy blacks.

But as reprehensible as the GOP's hate-campaign is, the level of ineptitude coming from 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue is even more disturbing. It's unforgivable how Obama and the administration have failed so miserably at conveying to average Americans the inherent value of his Affordable Care Act. Rather than falling in love with Obamacare, as they do their Social Security and Medicare, 53% actually disapprove of it. That Obama's allowed Republicans to frame the debate with incendiary, over-the-top rhetoric (Cantor claims it will have "horrific effects" on middle class families; Boehner calls it a "train wreck") is beyond comprehension. The most beneficial government program since the New Deal has somehow been turned into an apocalyptic nightmare. Incredibly, guaranteed insurance, no lifetime caps, no rejections for pre-existing conditions and the ability to keep children up to 26 on the family plan are perceived as a bad thingby more than half the country.

The ultimate failure is that President Barack "Grand Bargain" Obama's been too busy these past five years kissing Republicans' asses, deluding himself into thinking he can achieve bi-partisan harmony in Washington while being embarrassingly oblivious to the reality that these same lawmakers hate his guts and everything he stands for. They have one unabated goal: to undermine him, his agenda and his legacy at every possible turn. And regarding his legacy, Obamacare will likely be what the president is remembered for most (aside from the historic significance that he's the first black president): that he had the vision for it, yet woefully lacked the skills and balls to sell it.