You may have noticed that Republicans have been struggling to come up with a credible alternative to the Affordable Care Act once they repeal it. Why is it so hard? Because Obamacare WAS the Republican alternative. It was the conservative-designed mandate and subsidy approach. Republicans are in such an intellectual cul-de-sac on this issue that Paul Ryan actually blasted Obamacare for being a sop to the president’s “cronies” in the insurance industry. Oy!

I feel like a broken record but some truths bear repeating. Only in America could a Democratic president pass Mitt Romney’s health plan and fund it partly through John McCain’s best idea from the last campaign (taxing some employer provided plans) and be branded a “socialist.”

In every other advanced nation, the idea that government has a central role in assuring basic health security was settled decades ago — a consensus conservatives abroad embrace. Always remember: conservative icon Margaret Thatcher would have been chased from office if she had proposed anything as radically conservative as Obamacare — which relies on private docs to deliver the medicine, after all, and still leaves 20 million people uncovered.