Even after a Supreme Court ruling and a presidential election, Republicans remain fixated on dismantling Obamacare. Their latest strategy is to defund Obamacare by holding the federal budget or the debt ceiling hostage. Jonathan Chait’s recent piece on the ongoing plot to destroy Obamacare provides keen insight into the fears driving this last, desperate rearguard action by conservatives. Despite making nonstop proclamations that Obamacare is already a failure, conservatives rightly worry that Obamacare will successfully provide affordable health coverage to millions at affordable prices. It could redefine the role of government in a key component of both the economy and daily life, a prospect that most conservatives simply can’t abide.
These last-minute hijinks will come to nothing. The President and Congressional Democrats will never agree to anything that delays or defunds the most significant social legislation of the past forty years. It may take a government shutdown or a flirtation with financial ruin to bring Republican leaders to the realization that their Tea Party colleagues must be abandoned in the wilderness for their party to survive.