Why does the GOP hate Obamacare?
I think this is a legitimate question. After all, it is their plan, created by the Heritage Foundation, implemented by Mitt Romney, their Presidential nominee. If George W. Bush had proposed it, most of the same people who oppose it today, would support it.
So obviously some of it is politics, pure and simple. GOP leadership doesn't want to give the opposition a huge win, and one that people will come to embrace and cherish like Social Security and Medicare.
But that doesn't explain the group who are literally willing to plunge the nation into chaos over Obamacare. Think about that. Willing to self destruct the country over a GOP inspired plan that still leaves us with far less health care support, and a far more private enterprise oriented health care system then any other developed nation.
I have heard some explain that the GOP detests Obamacare because if it works, it puts the lie to their overall philosophy that more government is always bad. I get that point, but honestly it doesn't explain the depth of the hatred. Most of the GOP was willing to live with that problem when they passed Medicare Part D.
At this point, it is tempting to attribute the antipathy to racisim, that the Tea Party wing of the GOP hates Obamacare because it was proposed and passed by a Black man. While there may well be some of that going on, I don't think it is really racisim driving this. My thought is that the hatred is about the perceived preservation of hierarchy.
If you are a White male, the past 50 years have been pretty tough for you. Changes in society and in the law, have forced you to compete for jobs, promotions, and other sources of value, with people of color first, and with women later. Worse (from the perspective of the White male), laws and policies have been implemented that advantage these new competitors in order to either level the playing field tilted by past discrimination, or accelerate the implementation of a more diverse workforce and more equitable society.
This increased competition (perceived by some White males to be unfair competition) has had tangible impact. In 1970 in families where both spouses worked, the wife was the breadwinner in only 4%. As of 2010, the wife makes more money in over 30% of those families. To me, this is the core of the outrage that fuels a lot of the angry right. The White males (and the women who benefit from any advantaged status they have) are fighting like crazy to hold on to what is left of the advantages they had over people of color and women, and even roll things back as much as possible.
I experienced a little taste of this first hand once. A colleague, a senior executive and Republican, once literally said to me "the worst thing that ever happened was when they let women into the workplace." His boss by the way, who got the promotion he felt he should have received, was a woman.
Now of course it isn't acceptable to stand up and whine "I liked it better when I didn't have to compete with people of color and women." (Though comments like Palin's about the "real" America are pretty close.) Instead, those people interested in preserving old hierarchies frame their opposition instead as part of the great American tradition of rugged individualism, libertarianism, and caveat emptor. They believe people should help themselves, that the government shouldn't intervene, and that a wary buyer is the only regulation a marketplace needs.
While there is value in each one of these principles, the net effect of their expression is to preserve the status quo and to eliminate laws and policies that address tribal based biases, reified power imbalances, and marketplace failures -- in short, preserve hierarchy.
Why hate Obamacare? Because it provides government supported care to those who can't afford it (anti-rugged individualism), requires everyone to get health insurance whether they need it or not (anti-libertarian), and addresses the marketplace failures of our current system. In other words, while the impact of Obama care will likely improve the lives of nearly every one of those people who support driving over a cliff in order to stop it, it runs completely counter to the pretextual principles they hold dear in order to argue for the preservation of hierarchy, without nakedly arguing for the preservation of hierarchy.
Or, to put it most simply, they hate Obamacare because they perceive it to be another way that they are losing status.