MARK KARLIN, EDITOR OF BUZZFLASH AT TRUTHOUT
As hard as it is to believe given the psychotic babble coming out of the mouths of House Republicans, the Affordable Care Act was the creation of a think tank revered by conservatives, the Heritage Institute, and promoted by Republicans in the early '90s as an alternative to "Hillarycare." Of course, none other than Mitt Romney made it his main legacy as governor of Massachusetts; i.e., that is to say before he retroactively denounced it to jump on the anti-Obamacare juggernaut in the GOP primaries.
Why did the Heritage Foundation promote what is more or less now the Affordable Care Act that the House Republcans are comparing to bubonic plague? Because of the individual mandate. Republicans just love individual responsibility as compared to corporate responsibility, right?
Heck, even Richard Nixon wanted to put the responsibility on employers, according to a Forbes article:
In addition, in those days, most proposals for universal health care that were to the right of government-run single-payer were based upon forcing employers to sponsor private-sector health coverage for all of their employees. For example, under the Comprehensive Health Insurance Plan proposed by Richard Nixon in 1974, “every employer would be required to offer all full-time employees the Comprehensive Health Insurance Plan. Additional benefits could then be added by mutual agreement.”
If Tricky Dick were alive, the House GOP would skin him alive and roast his flesh for dinner.
The Forbes article explains a bit more about the former GOP embrace of the Affordable Care Act concept:
In 1989, Stuart Butler of the Heritage Foundation proposed a plan he called “Assuring Affordable Health Care for All Americans.” Stuart’s plan included a provision to “mandate all households to obtain adequate insurance,” which he framed explicitly as a way to address the “free rider” problem and employer mandates....
It would seem that 1990s conservatives weren’t concerned with the constitutional implications of allowing Congress to force people to buy a private product. “I don’t remember that being raised at all,” Mark Pauly told Ezra Klein last year. “The way it was viewed by the Congressional Budget Office in 1994 was, effectively, as a tax…So I’ve been surprised by that argument.”
But the Republicans long ago decided to make Obamacare something akin to the lower dredges of an outhouse injected with brain eating amoeba (which ironically might explain what happened to the brains of the GOP Tea Party-racist economic arsonists in the House). Attacking the Affordable Care Act is a golden goose for fundraising and by calling it Obamacare (which the White House seemed to play into by also referring to it as Obamacare at times), it turned into a fundraising bonanza for getting checks from the white tribalist crowd and neo-Confederate right-to-be-as-dumb-as-a-box-of-rocks contingent. Toss in the Koch brothers libertarian/John Birch Society cabal and you have a frenzied Tea Party that has pressed the self-destruct button on the American economy.
Some scientists argue that the human being is still 99 percent similar to our ancestors who emerged with opposable thumbs and started our species. It's the one percent of development in our mental skills, they contend, that differentiates us from the great apes.
But in the Republican dominated House of Representatives, you can pretty much take away that one percent of brain power except for the ability to speak incendiary rhetoric to raise money.
If you go to the Creationist Museum in Kentucky, as BuzzFlash at Truthout has reported via interviews with Charles Pierce, you can find dinosaurs with saddles. When you see the primordial GOP House members orating like hyenas with their tails on fire, you start believing that some of them did ride dinosaurs.