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Answer number 1: Republicans don’t actually hate Obamacare.

There are several real answers to this question.  The first answer is that Republicans don’t hate Obamacare, unless you call it Obamacare.  As recently noted by Joan McCarter (link), if you list the various attributes of the Affordable Care Act one by one, Americans, including Republicans actually like them.  Joan’s money quote here comes from Greg Sargent, who got the partisan breakdown of a recent Reuters/Ipsos poll (link).  Even Republicans like Obamacare, except for the part about extending Medicaid to families with less than $30,000 annnual income:

* Eighty percent of Republicans favor “creating an insurance pool where small businesses and uninsured have access to insurance exchanges to take advantage of large group pricing benefits.” That’s backed by 75 percent of independents. [...]
* Fifty two percent of Republicans favor “allowing children to stay on parents insurance until age 26.” That’s backed by 69 percent of independents.
* Seventy eight percent of Republicans support “banning insurance companies from denying coverage for pre-existing conditions; 86 percent of Republicans favor “banning insurance companies from cancelling policies because a person becomes ill.” Those are backed by 82 percent of independents and 87 percent of independents.
* One provision that isn’t backed by a majority of Republicans: The one “expanding Medicaid to families with incomes less than $30,000 per year.”
In light of this finding, some important observations need to be made.  First, Democrats and President Obama need to do a better job of messaging.  Secondly, despite the partisan rancor and win-at-all-costs attitude of Republican party leaders, rank and file Republicans have a lot in common with Independents and Democrats on this issue, and probably a host of others.  Third, this shows a lot of potential for improvement in the tone of our national political dialogue if Republican leaders can be shown to be out of step with rank and file Republicans.  With that thought in mind, let’s move to answer number two.

Answer number 2: Republican party leaders have become immoderate.

There are still plenty of moderate Republicans, but current party leaders are more immoderate than moderate.  Attitudes toward the Affordable Care Act are just one case in point.  Even Jeb Bush (link) has noticed how immoderate party leaders have become on a whole range of issues.  As mentioned above, this at least gives potential for improving the tone of national dialogue if we bypass Republican leaders and appeal directly to rank and file Republicans and Independents.

But let’s focus just on the health care debate.  First, there is the historical context. (link, link) President Nixon, yes that President Nixon, proposed an employer mandate for health care as a response to the idea of single payer health care reform.  During President Reagan’s second term, legislation was passed that forced hospital emergency rooms to accept everyone, regardless of whether they could pay.  It was after that legislation was passed that Republicans began to earnestly discuss a way to keep free riders from taking unfair advantage of the law.  The first available example of this, dated October 2, 1989, comes from the Heritage Foundation’s Stuart Butler. (pdflink) Some within the Republican party, most notably Peter Ferrara, have sought to blame the Heritage Foundation for inventing and advocating for the individual mandate. (link, link) Butler however says lots of others were discussing the individual mandate at the time (link):

My view was shared at the time by many conservative
experts, including American Enterprise Institute (AEI)
scholars, as well as most non-conservative analysts.
Even libertarian-conservative icon Milton Friedman, in a
1991 Wall Street Journal article, advocated replacing
Medicare and Medicaid "with a requirement that every
U.S. family unit have a major medical insurance policy."
In 1991, President George H. W. Bush commissioned a study, headed by Mark Pauly.  (pdflink) In a 2011 interview with Ezra Klein, Pauly discussed the experience, explaining that Republicans were looking for a market-based option to single-payer (link)
I was involved in developing a plan for the George H.W. Bush administration. I wasn't a member of the administration, but part of a team of academics who believe the administration needed good proposals to look at. We did it because we were concerned about the specter of single payer insurance, which isn't market-oriented, and we didn't think was a good idea. One feature was the individual mandate. The purpose of it was to round up the stragglers who wouldn’t be brought in by subsidies. We weren’t focused on bringing in high risks, which is what they're focused on now. We published the plan in Health Affairs in 1991. The Heritage Foundation was working on something similar at the time.
Shortly thereafter, President Clinton sort of co-opted the Nixon position by proposing an employer mandate.  Republicans, who had already been discussing the issue during George H. W. Bush’s presidency, responded to President Clinton by focusing on their own mandate.  As noted by Len Nichols of the New America Foundation in a February 2010 NPR broadcast (link)
(T)he individual mandate was originally a Republican idea. "It was invented by Mark Pauly to give to George Bush Sr. back in the day, as a competition to the employer mandate focus of the Democrats at the time."
This is also confirmed by Newt Gingrich (link):
“In 1993, in fighting ‘Hillarycare,’ virtually every conservative saw the mandate as a less dangerous future than what Hillary was trying to do,” Newt Gingrich, the former speaker of the House, said at a debate in December, casting his past support of a mandate as an antidote to the health care overhaul proposed by Hillary Rodham Clinton during her husband’s administration.
As carefully illustrated recently by Ezra Klein (link), moderate Republicans were accepting this mandate idea until June of 2009.  This included plans endorsed by a majority of  Republican senators in 1993 (link)  and bipartisan bills introduced in January 2007 and February 2009 (link) By December of 2009, after the Affordable Care Act was introduced, the mandate idea was suddenly unconstitutional:
KLEIN: Six months later, in December 2009, every single Senate
Republican voted to call the individual mandate unconstitutional, every
single one. That included many who has supported the individual in the
past, like Senator Hatch from Utah and Senator Bond from Missouri, and even
some supporting the mandate at that very moment, with their names on the
Health Americans Act like Senators Lamar Alexander and Mike Crapo.
It was just previous to this sudden change of heart by Republican party leaders that Governor Mitt Romney introduced what has come to be known as “Romneycare” in 2007.  At the signing of Romneycare, Robert Moffitt, who worked for the right-wing-think-tank Heritage Foundation, came to speak:

Besides the support from the Heritage Foundation, the plan was approved by two conservative Republicans who were secretary of the Health and Human Services Department under George W. Bush, Tommy Thompson and Mike Leavitt. (link)  In 2007, even conservative icon Jim Demint had glowing comments about Romneycare and proposed it as a solution for the nation:

Needless to say, the Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare, was based on Romneycare, which was based on an idea proposed by moderate Republicans and accepted even by conservative Republicans like Jim Demint.  Accepted, that is, until it was co-opted by President Obama.  
Romneycare, not long ago openly lauded by many Republicans, and Obamacare are nearly identical.  President Obama’s signature proposal is based on the same Republican ideas. (link, link)  The most convincing discussion of this may come from extremely conservative Republican Peter Ferrara (link), who calls out Ann Coulter (link) when she tries to deny the similarities:

No, Ann, it's a lot more than that. Where did you get that excessively speculative rationalization? Romney's health care bill is perceived as virtually the same thing as the widely detested Obamacare because it is virtually the same thing as the widely detested Obamacare.
Both Romneycare and Obamacare include the individual mandate. Both Romneycare and Obamacare include sharp increases in Medicaid. Both Romneycare and Obamacare include guaranteed issue and community rating (like requiring fire insurers to insure homes that have already caught fire, and at the same standard rates as for everyone else). Both Romneycare and Obamacare include welfare subsidies for the purchase of health insurance well into the middle class. And both Romneycare and Obamacare include the latent government power for price controls on health insurance and rationing of health care.
The problem is not that President Obama is a raging socialist/leftist/fascist trying to force a health care mandate on hapless stalwart Republicans.  No, the problem is that the Republican party leadership has become so immoderate that President Obama’s obviously moderate Republican idea is no longer acceptable to them even though the contents of his legislation are, mostly, accepted by rank and file Republicans.

Answer number 3: Negative propaganda.

Back before Mitt Romney was the Republican nominee, his rivals and their supporters were more than willing to lament the negative impact of Romneycare on the Massachusetts economy. As a case in point, Newt Gingrich, who lauded Romneycare in 2006 (link) said in December of 2011 that (link):

“Why doesn’t Mitt admit it? He’s still for the mandate in Massachusetts.  It doesn’t work, it’s going to bankrupt the state.
Peter Ferrara, of anti-mandate fame, said (link):
That means the mandated health insurance will inevitably be extremely expensive, as we are just starting to see with Obamacare.
The best antidote to negative propaganda is a good dose of reality. Romneycare is succeeding (link):
Currently, Massachusetts has the highest level of healthcare coverage in the country with more than 98 percent of its residents having healthcare insurance, but ranking as the 48th lowest state in the nation in healthcare expenditures.

The combined saving of last year and this year will save the state approximately $91 million with no benefit reductions or member co-pay increases, the report said.

More success here and from the Frumforum here.

And, since Obamacare is very similar to Romneycare, Obamacare will also likely succeed in the end.

Conclusion: Agree with yourself

Republican party leaders have clearly lost their moral compass.  One way of saying this is that they no longer agree with their former selves. In stark contrast, Mark Pauly, recognized by many as the father of the individual mandate has maintained his Republican values over the years.  Snippets from various interviews show that he still prefers a non-mandate solution but thinks it is the only way to insure everyone.  This is what rational Republicans sound like:

And how does economist Pauly feel about the GOP's retreat from the individual mandate they used to promote? "That's not something that makes me particularly happy," he says.(link)

 “My view was, I still agree with myself,” he said in an interview. (link)

I have mixed feelings about the mechanics of the current bill. Our idea was to have tax credits and very little additional government control over insurance markets, and the legislation has an awful lot of that. I believe you could achieve almost the same reduction of the uninsured with the subsidies and without the mandate. But CBO says that you leave about 40 percent of the uninsured population without coverage in that scenario. If we want to close that gap, then either we have to have a mandate or make insurance free for everyone and run by the government.(link)

Incidentally, Pauly, in an interview that predates (February 2011) the recent Supreme Court decision on the mandate,  also confirms that the mandate was originally considered as a tax back when it was first proposed by Republicans (link):
Was the constitutionality of the provision a question, either in your deliberations or after it was released?

I don’t remember that being raised at all. The way it was viewed by the Congressional Budget Office in 1994 was, effectively, as a tax. You either paid the tax and got insurance that way or went and got it another way. So I've been surprised at that argument. But I’m not an expert on the Constitution. My fix would be to simply say raise everyone’s taxes by what a health insurance policy would cost -- Congress definitely has the power to do that -- and then tell people that if they obtain insurance, they'll get a tax break of the same amount. So instead of a penalty, it’s a perfectly legal tax break. But this seems to me to angelic pinhead density arguments about whether it’s a payment to do something or not to do something.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (20+ / 0-)

    The ...Bushies... don't make policies to deal with problems. ...It's all about how can we spin what's happening out there to do what we want to do. Krugman

    by mikepridmore on Fri Jun 29, 2012 at 10:54:28 AM PDT

  •  Hmm, is David Frum now a Dailykosser (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
  •  Answer 4: a black democrat proposed it (9+ / 0-)

    That's all we really need to know about why they hate it.

    •  Possibly relevant. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      But to emphasize this possibility only promotes disharmony. The main problem with Republican leadership is cupidity, not racism.

      The ...Bushies... don't make policies to deal with problems. ...It's all about how can we spin what's happening out there to do what we want to do. Krugman

      by mikepridmore on Fri Jun 29, 2012 at 11:09:50 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Fair enough, but (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mikepridmore, bluezen

        the problem with Republican voters is a pathological fear of diversity.

        •  Are you sure (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          that is the stereotype you want to go with?  If I had to choose one word to describe them it would be "misinformed." Part of the point I am trying to make is that rank and file Republicans are not adequately represented by their leaders.  I would rather take a smack at the leaders than at all Republicans.  Stereotypes are dangerous.

          The ...Bushies... don't make policies to deal with problems. ...It's all about how can we spin what's happening out there to do what we want to do. Krugman

          by mikepridmore on Fri Jun 29, 2012 at 11:24:08 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Yeah, I'm golden with "fear of diversity," ty (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            I fail to see how saying they're "misniformed" is any less of a stereotype. And my "stereotype" fits better, and more accurately predicts their behavior.

            Back when I wanted to change the minds of GOP voters, I might have called them misinformed. It's far less personally offensive, after all, and you catch more bees with honey.

            And then the last 12 years happened, during which it became palpably clear that they don't want to change my mind. They just want to beat me. And you, by the way.

            The one pleasant part of exchanging my desire for discourse in favor of a desire for victory is, I no longer have to lie just to be nice. So, no, I won't say they're misinformed. They're bigots.

            •  aha (0+ / 0-)
              Back when I wanted to change the minds of GOP voters, I might have called them misinformed.
              exchanging my desire for discourse in favor of a desire for victory
              And calling them "bigots" isn't offensive? Interesting.  By labelling them as "bigots" you dehumanize them and turn them into the "other."   When we dehumanize the enemy it is we who lose.

              The ...Bushies... don't make policies to deal with problems. ...It's all about how can we spin what's happening out there to do what we want to do. Krugman

              by mikepridmore on Fri Jun 29, 2012 at 12:05:09 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  i don't see them so much as bigots as i do (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                mikepridmore, SethRightmer

                as being extremely adverse to any kind of change -- like little kids, who get upset any time their schedule is changed or interrupted, or dogs, whenever their owners go away on trips -- things like that.  

                conservatives are by nature, conservative (!) & not receptive to change.  they like things just as they are, mainly b/c their lives are comfortable & they don't want them to be altered.

                when minorities (especially) are in the position that has previously been held by whites, that's seen as negative change of the highest degree, & extremely threatening to their way of life, so arquebus is correct about the racial aspect of it (imo).  it doesn't have so much to do w/race as it does w/their perception of who "should" be in charge.  the same applies to men being in positions of power instead of women.

                •  Thanks for commenting. (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:

                  The ...Bushies... don't make policies to deal with problems. ...It's all about how can we spin what's happening out there to do what we want to do. Krugman

                  by mikepridmore on Fri Jun 29, 2012 at 12:28:59 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                •  When it is about the idea that Whites should be (0+ / 0-)

                  in charge, aka White Supremacy, how is that different from racism? As with

                  • Male Supremacy = Sexism
                  • American Exceptionalism = Nativism
                  • Supremacy of the rich = kleptocracy or aristocracy
                  • Christians of a certain kind supremacy = Dominionism

                  Hands off my ObamaCare[TM]

                  by Mokurai on Sat Jun 30, 2012 at 03:08:04 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

              •  Wow. (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                You are claiming it is bigoted to say someone acts in a bigoted fashion? I'll be blunt, they have demonstrated they will not compromise. They will not sit down at the table and discuss this with us like rational people. Have you not been paying attention? They want a revolution. They want us DEAD. Liberals are subhuman traitors in their eyes, and minds, and words. Not just the talking heads say this, but the rank and file. Please explain to me how the republican rank and file are different from the brownshirts. This is what you want to compromise with, Quisling.

                •  Compromise with, no. (0+ / 0-)

                  Communicate with, yes.  I am talking about winning the court of public opinion.  Rank and file Republicans are not all the shouting idiots you see on the teevee.  Some of them are, but not all.  Some of them actually have brains and values.  In my piece I quoted from various interviews with Mark Pauly, the person credited by many with originating the mandate idea.  He genuinely believes in small government.  But he also believes that achieving health care for everyone is more important than the small government solution he would prefer.  He is not the lone sane Republican left in the world either.  There are lots of other genuinely principled Republicans out there.  

                  The ...Bushies... don't make policies to deal with problems. ...It's all about how can we spin what's happening out there to do what we want to do. Krugman

                  by mikepridmore on Fri Jun 29, 2012 at 02:02:23 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

          •  Yes, yes, it is the 90% of racists and bigots in (0+ / 0-)

            The Base that give the moderate 10% a bad name.

            Denying the existence of Obama Derangement Syndrome is as fact-challenged as any bloviating ignoramus on their side. Have a look at my Republican Code Words Glossary and Ethnic and Other Slurs pages on dKosopedia. Yes, I provide lots of snark, but I also cite them in their own words.

            Hands off my ObamaCare[TM]

            by Mokurai on Sat Jun 30, 2012 at 03:01:55 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  Yes, the main main problem is cupidity (0+ / 0-)

        to the point of kleptocracy, but the other main problem is that the only way they get to do what they want is by entraining racists and bigots as Useless Idiots with promises to do what they usually cannot do unless Democrats sit on their hands, as in the 2010 elections.

        They need to fool almost enough of the people almost enough of the time, to the point where they expect that they can make up the difference in dirty tricks.

        So GOTV, and do whatever you can to counter voter suppression, especially in swing states like Florida and Ohio.

        Hands off my ObamaCare[TM]

        by Mokurai on Sat Jun 30, 2012 at 02:35:33 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Don't give "that one" anything. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    The budget, taxes, big government, whether Romney and Republicans lie out of every orifice in their body, doesn't matter. What matters is to stop everything Obama tries to do and get him out of there. Why? " I want my country back". And if the right really wanted to know what's in the bill, and considering they watch rightwing rags like Fox and 24/7 hate radio and blogs, all they get are a bunch of bs lies. Obama could have ads all over the country every day, taunting everything in the bill, they wouldn't pay attention. All Obama and supporters can do is get as many reasonable people to listen.

  •  Republicans are no longer conservatives... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Just look at the last decade...
    2 unpaid for wars...
    Large unpaid for tax cuts...
    Medicare Part D unpaid for...

    Then listen to Romney's speech after the SCOTUS ruling....
    He wants to keep the benefits but get rid of part of the way to pay for other words, "just don't send him the bill"

    Republicans aren't conservatives-they are deadbeats...(the debt ceiling debacle ring a bell?)

    They hate it because the Democratic Party tried to pay for it....

    •  Look at the top (0+ / 0-)

      diary on the recommended list where Susan was talking to Republicans at the beauty salon.  There are a lot of people out there looking for information.  But the Republican leadership has lost its moral compass.  Many Republicans follow blindly along.  But I think at least some of them, at least the ones not in politics professionally, are persuadable.  Thanks for commenting.

      The ...Bushies... don't make policies to deal with problems. ...It's all about how can we spin what's happening out there to do what we want to do. Krugman

      by mikepridmore on Fri Jun 29, 2012 at 03:57:45 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Ugh Peter Ferrara (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    who is a frequent guest on Thom Hartmann's show and each and every time is severly disrespectful towards Thom.

    liberal bias = failure to validate or sufficiently flatter the conservative narrative on any given subject

    by RockyMtnLib on Sat Jun 30, 2012 at 06:45:49 AM PDT

    •  Ferrara is a Cheneyite (0+ / 0-)

      blowhard, frothing at the mouth on many issues.  But he was right that "Romneycare" is very much like the Affordable Care Act.  One bonus of quoting him is that it is harder for Republicans to claim he is biased in favor of Democrats.

      The ...Bushies... don't make policies to deal with problems. ...It's all about how can we spin what's happening out there to do what we want to do. Krugman

      by mikepridmore on Sat Jun 30, 2012 at 07:06:42 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I'll take that too. (0+ / 0-)

        Thing about PF is his attacks on Hartmann on Hartmann's own show often get personal.

        liberal bias = failure to validate or sufficiently flatter the conservative narrative on any given subject

        by RockyMtnLib on Sat Jun 30, 2012 at 07:56:18 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

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