I don't blame [NRO editor Ramesh] Ponnuru and others for trying to get conservatives to embrace some kind of healthcare plan. I think they're kind of crazy to think their proposed plan would (a) work, (b) be politically attractive, or (c) be popular, but maybe that's just my liberal bias talking. What's not my liberal bias talking, however, is the plain fact that conservatives don't care about expanding access to healthcare. As [American Prospect writer Paul] Waldman says, the evidence on this score is overwhelming. They opposed Medicare. They opposed CHIP. They've opposed every expansion of Medicaid ever. Only brutal strongarm tactics got them to support their own president's prescription drug plan, despite the sure knowledge that killing it would likely lose them the White House the following year. And of course, they've opposed every Democratic attempt to pass universal healthcare legislation in the last century.
And this goes back to the basic argument about Republicans in general: the second they prove government can work better than the free market, they lose forever. Obamacare has to be repealed in the GOP mindset because Republicans are terrified that it will work, much like Social Security and Medicare. Gosh, that's why they are trying to get rid of those programs, too. The goal is if enough people hate it, they can kill it and get away with it. It doesn't matter what it gets replaced with, but the Democrats will certainly suffer if that happens, and that's what does matter to them.
Republicans want to run government so they can take government out of government.