Why Obamacare is a Conservativeâ€™s Dream - NYTimes.com
Jared Sperli stashed this in politics
Stashed in: Republicans
IF Mitt Romneyâ€™s pivots on Presidentâ€™s Obamaâ€™s health care reform act have accelerated to a blur â€” from repealing on Day 1, to preserving this or that piece, to punting the decision to the states â€” it is for an odd reason buried beneath two and a half years of Republican political condemnations: the architecture of the Affordable Care Act is based on conservative, not liberal, ideas about individual responsibility and the power of market forces.
This fundamental ideological paradox, drowned out by partisan shouting since before the planâ€™s passage in 2010, explains why Obamacare has only lukewarm support from many liberals, who wanted a real, not imagined, â€śgovernment takeover of health care.â€ť It explains why Republicans have been unable since its passage to come up with anything better. And it explains why the law is nearly identical in design to the legislation Mr. Romney passed in Massachusetts while governor.
The core drivers of the health care act are market principles formulated by conservative economists, designed to correct structural flaws in our health insurance system â€” principles originally embraced by Republicans as a market alternative to the Clinton plan in the early 1990s. The presidentâ€™s program extends the current health care system â€” mostly employer-based coverage, administered by commercial health insurers, with care delivered by fee-for-service doctors and hospitals â€” by removing the biggest obstacles to that systemâ€™s functioning like a competitive marketplace.