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Why the Republicans really hate Obamacare

(Olivier Douliery/Abaca Press/MCT)

(Olivier Douliery/Abaca Press/MCT)

March 31 was the official deadline to sign up for health insurance coverage for 2014 to avoid being fined under the Affordable Care Act. If you started the process a minute before midnight, experienced website difficulties, received misinformation from an ACA representative or fall under any of the other exceptions categories, you still have time to sign up without being fined, even though the official deadline has passed. Essentially, this means the deadline has been extended and an end date will be announced once the Obama administration has gauged how many people have signed up for exemptions.

When the extension was announced, Republicans were furious. “What the hell is this? A joke?” House Speaker John Boehner asked, whose face was probably red with anger underneath his everlasting orange tan. The deadline extension, he went on to say, is just another way the administration is “manipulating the laws for its own convenience.”

Boehner’s opinion on Obamacare is largely the opinion of the entire Republican Party. Having voted 50 times to change Obamacare under Boehner’s speakership, Republicans have had no trouble voicing their disapproval of the law.

Many of them claim it’ll destroy the economy by killing jobs – not true. Some say it’s going to destroy America – extreme and also (probably) not true. Others say it’s illegal – well, not according to the Supreme Court.

So if none of these reasons hold up quite as well as they’d like, why do Republicans actually hate Obamacare and why are they really so angry about the deadline extension? Simple: They care more about destroying an Obama administration policy than giving poor, uninsured people health care coverage, and they should just say so instead of insulting us by claiming otherwise.

To illustrate this point, we need simply to turn to Jennifer Stefano, Pennsylvania director for the Koch-funded Americans for Prosperity, and her most recent appearance on MSNBC’s “All In with Chris Hayes.”

Hayes starts off by asking her a simple question: Why should people care about the ACA deadline extension? In an attempt to answer, Stefano gets angry and loud, spouting off all the necessary buzzwords that will fulfill her role as an Obamacare-opponent. Her argument was uninformed and underprepared, but the takeaway was her supposed concern that not enough uninsured people were signing up for health care.

That’s where it gets interesting. As Hayes points out, the Medicaid expansion portion of Obamacare is how most of the uninsured will become insured. Why then, he asks, are most Republican governors opposed to raising the Medicaid eligibility from 100 percent of the poverty line to 133 percent so “some working poor can get some health insurance?”

Stefano answers by not answering at all. She makes the absolutely false claim that Medicaid expansion would cover people making up to $94,000 a year, yells about how she definitely cares about poor people, then ends the interview by telling Hayes how sad it was that he undermined her opinion as a woman.

Stefano was the perfect rightwing mouthpiece. She said things like “taking choices away” and “the President lied to us,” phrases that are easy for people to believe regardless of how accurate they are. She talked past Hayes, deflecting all of his questions and using the airtime to exemplify the behavior of the majority of conservative Republicans concerning Obamacare. There was no way she could come right out and say they don’t support Medicaid expansion because they genuinely don’t care enough about it, but really, she didn’t have to.

So, the Republicans are angry: About the deadline extension, about Medicaid expansion and about the ACA in general. Their oppositional arguments – its “lawlessness,” the havoc it will wreak on small businesses, the inevitable destruction of America – are all just talking points. What they really care about is repealing Obamacare, and they care about it more than they care about giving people affordable health insurance.

This is evident in the polls that show a higher rate of Republican support for Obamacare provisions only when labeled “The Affordable Care Act.” It is evident in the lack of viable alternative health care options proposed by Republicans. It is evident in the majority of Republican governors who don’t want to expand Medicaid, effectively denying the working poor a chance at affordable health care.

The truth of the matter is, though they may claim to like the idea of giving people affordable health insurance, they don’t quite like it (or anything, for that matter) as much as destroying Obamacare and winning their own manufactured battle.

There is good news, however. As of April 1, over 7 million people have enrolled for private health care coverage under the Affordable Care Act and the number will continue to grow because of the deadline extension. It would be naive to think that there aren’t millions more who haven’t yet signed up that could benefit from it as well. The Republicans’ hate campaign against Obamacare solely seeks to repeal at all costs, with no regard for those, including those 7 million people, who are obviously in need of affordable healthcare.

The most important thing to remember, whether you agree with all aspects of the ACA or not, is that granting people access to low-cost health coverage is simply the right thing to do. Republican efforts to take it away are a shameful display of selfishness and spite.

Jillian Correira is a Collegian columnist and can be reached at

11 Responses to “Why the Republicans really hate Obamacare”
  1. Independent Voter says:

    This independent voter hates it too. So, maybe wake up to reality that the Democratic Party is losing a major chunk here, and there’s not a thing you can do about it because your party is still buying into Obamacare and selling it as hard as they can, but the American people don’t want it and pretty soon they’re not going to want your party. It’s highly obnoxious behavior on the part of the Democratic Party.

  2. Masterofmydomain says:

    Simple: They care more about destroying an Obama administration policy than giving poor, uninsured people health care coverage, and they should just say so instead of insulting us by claiming otherwise. WRONG!!! The republicans and others hate PAYING for GIVING away free healthcare and subsidizing the rest of it for millions of people. Nothing is free. It’s on the backs of taxpayers. As a result of Obamacare, my taxes have gone up almost 10% in various ways. Everything from investment to personal income is taxed. As it stands, 40% of taxpayers foot the bill for EVERYTHING in this country. This includes your middle class parents barely making ends meet as a two-income couple. For the average person making what you want to make in 10-15 years after college, your taxes are almost 50% of what you make, thanks to Obama. In order to make a halfway decent living in a desirable city these days, you need to make about $250,000 annually. That puts you in the top 6% or so of all wage earners in America. Good luck finding those jobs someday. There are many philosophical reasons to hate Obamacare, not the least of which is the very poorly constructed way in which it is being carried out. At the end of the day, the American taxpayer is taxed to death, and while most people agree that a compassionate society should care for those people who cannot help themselves, that number has gone from about 8% of the population historically to about 47% of the population today. THAT is why many people hate social re-programming – it costs too much and the mentality has changed from making your own way in the world and contributing your bit to society, to waiting for a handout if your standard of living isn’t up to your standards. As it stands, 40% of the working population (so, approximately 75 million people) are paying ALL of the freight for the remaining 220 or so million people who are retired, underage, illegal, out of work, etc. Just give that some thought, when you start working, you will be carrying 2-3 other people on your back for the rest of your life! Try that on for size while trying to save for a house, an engagement ring, your own retirement, college for your kids, etc. Real life has a way of crystallizing the issues very rapidly.

  3. Mike88 says:

    Health care should be a fundamental right and be either cheap or free. They are just to many people and not enough money. The reason people take advantage of programs and handouts is they would starve or they just don’t make enough money at the wage they make. The rich get richer and the poor get poorer and that is just the way it is. There is no middle class and never has been one since the 1960’s. The middle class is the upper poor class. Conservatives convince the “middle class/upper poor class” that the very poor and liberals are their enemy and the liberals convince them that the rich and conservatives are their enemy. This is all incorrect. We need people to work together and make this country great again. We need a new political party that will cut off foreign aid have hybrid cars so we will never have to buy foreign oil and buy strictly American products and stop outsourcing to foreign countries. We also need to get rid of all illegal aliens and stop welcoming them here. We need to shut the borders down. Also cut out a lot of handout programs once we implement new policies where all Americans will live good and earn well. Then we will have plenty of money to give everyone cheap health care of free health care paid by tax dollars.

  4. kurt says:

    I’m a Republican. I hate it because I want to spend my money how I want to and not how some disconnected bureaucrat thinks I need. This is America (land of the free). I thought. The article is BS.

  5. lalhuni says:

    What I can clearly believe. That besides the politics and all its undertakings.
    This is not the result of development or modernity.
    This is a prophecy by revelations in the Bible.
    Whether you like it or not. Or whether you believe it or not.

  6. dave bowen says:

    If the word “Care: was preceded by, Ryan,Cruz,Boehner,McConnell,Palin,or Bachmann,Republicans would be singing its praises,even if it was the exact same program. But,it’s OBAMAcare,and therefore no good. It is really just that simple,and is obvious to anyone who gets information from anywhere besides Limbaugh,or the lie machine at Hyena News,where they feed off the dead brains of the ignorant,narrow minded,tunnel visioned,and uninformed

  7. Kentuckians really like how well their Kynect state health insurance exchange has been working. They give it glowing reviews. Somebody ought to point out to them that it’s actually part of Obamacare, that unmitigated disaster that Mitch McConnell wants to get rid of.

  8. mfan says:

    To help your readers, I will tell you why I hate Obamacare though I consider myself more Libertarian than Republican. I believe the ability to go off the grid is a fundamental, traditional right of all Americans. The ACA forces you to do business with it very much like being sued by a lawyer does not allow you to do nothing. It’s basically a head tax, so if you go off the grid for a few years, you will potentially be in big trouble. You can have a small annuity that allows you not to have to file income tax, yet will force you to be involved with your Uncle Sam. This is just morally WRONG. There is no financial tweak anyone could do to it to make it right. It has to be resisted until it can be repealed.

  9. Jake Eagleshield says:

    This is a response to “mfan” Name one person in this country with any common sense who would NOT want health insurance they can afford.

  10. Paul Prevost jr says:

    Home of the free. Man you sound crazy. Republicans are like robots, whatever one says they all believe, the only thing that runs this country is green. Look at that fool Sarah Palin, really that’s what you guys want as a leader or maybe MIT Romney another idiot. Please republicans, all you guys do is talk a good game, when it comes to the real deal they have no answers. Come with some real solutions!!!

  11. Dantheman says:

    How many Republicans does it take to change a light bulb? NONE! They’d rather sit in the dark and blame it on Obama!

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