Because the basic Republican economic philosophy is built around a Darwinian form of pure capitalism, Republicans have always apposed social programs that benefit average citizens rather than merely the ruling oligarchy. Thus over the years the GOP has fought tooth and nail against such social safety net programs as Social Security, Medicare and of course most recently the affordable care act (ACA) nicknamed Obamacare.
The problem for Republicans is that once such program are up and running the public comes to depend upon them and refuses to give them up. This of course infuriates the well-off and super rich whose taxes power government programs. To combat this slight burden on the wealthy, the GOP is always pushing for tax cuts that mainly benefit the rich with the ruse that tax cuts stimulate the economy.
What these tax cuts actually do is starve funding for government programs that benefit the many. And if that is not enough to strangle programs for Average Americans, Republicans shove huge sums of money at the military industrial complex, and then claim that with the deficit out of control social programs need to be reined in.
Retuning to Obamacare, as Republicans were unable to prevent the installment of Obamacare, they simply badmouthed it to death, causing most Americans to see in a bad light, a political victory for Republicans. But now with Obamacare having been in effect for some time and saving countless lives the tables have turned. Americans have now come to see Obamacare’s positive value.
So here is the Republican dilemma. Having for so long decried Obamacare a disaster that must be repealed, the Republicans have no good place to go with a replacement plan that the public demands. This is because Obamacare already occupies the sweet spot. Short of a single payer health plan (Medicare for all), for the basically uninsurable, Obamacare has already nearly maximized the greatest good to combat a difficult situation. In other words any significant variation away from Obamacare can only be much worse.
Had not the Republicans worked themselves into a political corner by claiming that Obamacare needed to be totally ripped up, the easy solution would have been to work with Democrats to make the necessary modifications that would at least improve a complex system.
Or Republicans could do the absolute best thing and do what every other advanced nation on earth does, and that is join with Democrats to institute a single payer healthcare system. Yes, there is a down side to a single payer system, but for average Americans the pluses far out weigh the minuses.
If, however, Republicans can’t bring themselves to go that far for ideological reasons, then they are just going to have to pay the political price for trying to foist upon the American people an inevitably inferior plan to that of the in the sweet spot Obamacare.