We've heard many reasons why Republicans hate Obamacare. It's the Gateway to European Socialism, or it will force people to violate their religious beliefs. It will cost too much money or it will erode societal norms by handing out birth control like a Pez-Dispenser. But now, finally the answer comes out - Obamacare emancipates the middle class from the plutocrats by removing the carrot of health insurance and the stick of bankruptcy from the corporation's hands, and shifts power back towards the people and away from the corporations.
Prior to the recession and globalization, the carrot was upward mobility - work hard, plan right, and you too could have a house in the suburbs, send your 2.5 kids to college and retire to enjoy life. After the recession, the one thing that many corporations found was a successful carrot was health insurance, particularly when increasingly stringent requirements by the insurance companies meant if you went without continuous coverage your premiums could be raised or you could be denied coverage.
The stick evolved as well, from a social stigma of being fired to the threat of bankruptcy and financial ruin. You can't afford to get sick without medical coverage, so you do whatever you have to in order to keep your job and the benefits that come along with it.
So lead by the health insurance carrot and threatened by the bankruptcy stick, you begin to cede more of your time in order to keep your benefits. You agree to work more than 40 hours a week with no increase of your salary. You never use vacation days, you check your phone and email in case something comes up over the weekend, during your kid's ball game or dance recital, or date night with your spouse. All because they could fire you and hire someone else who needs the job, not only for the money but also for the benefits.
Your added productivity results in higher profits for the corporation, which is distributed via bonuses and raises for the CEOs and upper management in recognition for their ability to increase productivity while keeping costs low. The income disparity grows, in part due to the hard work of those who will never be rewarded for their labor and are powerless for fear they may lose their insurance.
The ACA takes away this carrot and stick by allowing you to purchase health insurance on your own and with a subsidy to help you pay for it. Republicans claim that the subsidy provides a disincentive to work. In reality, the ACA provides the middle class with a choice. In a recent Washington Post article, it is estimated that 2.5 million Americans will quit their jobs or stop looking for work based upon the benefits of the ACA.
One such American is Polly Lower, who quit her job when her boss reassigned her from the job she enjoyed (book keeping) to a position she did not (managing her bosses schedule). Pre-ACA she would have just kept working for at least another decade until she could retire on Medicare. Now, with $500 premiums for her and her husband, she can become the full-time sitter for her 5 year old granddaughter, a much more fulfilling position. With 2.5 million other people able to make the same choices, the people that will be hired to replace them will have more say in what they will and will not do, which means companies and corporations will have to provide new incentives and better pay to retain employees.
And that is the real reason the Republicans hate the ACA. The ACA provides options for the middle class, the option to refuse to take on more responsibilities with no increase in pay, or a position that was not agreed upon when they were hired. By opting in to the ACA exchanges, people are able to opt out of the system where the middle class effort and time is sacrificed to provide inordinate bonuses and perks for CEOs and other plutocrats. And that terrifies Republicans and their plutocratic donors, because it threatens their very way of life.