The politics of Obamacare are changing, and the Republican Party is well aware of that reality. “It’s no longer just a piece of paper that you can repeal and it goes away,” Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson, a Tea Party Republican, told The New York Times. “There’s something there. We have to recognize that reality. We have to deal with the people that are currently covered under Obamacare.”
Before October 1 — when the cornerstone provision of the Affordable Care Act, the online insurance marketplaces, had yet to launch — Republican lawmakers spoke of their desire to wipe health care reform off the legislative map by either repealing it in parts or as a whole, or by defunding it. The key, of course, was to accomplish repealing or defunding the law before the insurance exchanges opened for enrollment.
Even though other provisions of the Affordable Care Act had already been implemented, the marketplaces would not only be exceedingly difficult to shut down after they had been rolled out but the individual insurance mandate is also the most important piece of the reform. Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, also a Tea Party Republican, described the concerns and aspirations clearly and dramatically.