One major flaw with the politics of Obamacare was that it created winners and losers, redistributing health care benefits to those who had been uninsured while raising rates for the middle class (on the individual exchanges) and ineffectively managing increased demand for overtaxed medical providers. Past entitlement programs conferred an overall benefit to everyone; Obama’s law effectively redistributed benefits from one group to another.
Given that reality, reversing it inevitably will create another set of winners and losers. That doesn’t mean any replacement proposal should be historically unpopular. If Republicans tried to make the case that government spending on health care was crowding out resources for other public priorities, they might have a captive audience. If they made the case that health care outcomes for those on Medicaid aren’t good, and it’s preferable to have more recipients on private insurance, they’d be making a credible case. If they even made the simple argument that the taxes and mandates on businesses from Obamacare are slowing economic growth, they’d have a receptive constituency.