Marshall recalls a famous memo by Bill Kristol from 1993. Its purpose was to help Republicans craft a strategy to defeat President Bill Clinton's health-care reform proposals. Marshall calls it "a very candid statement that health care reform would work."
Average people would like it. And it would "rekindle" the belief that government activism can be part of the solution in helping sustain and protect the middle class. Kristol was clear that this would not only an ideological defeat but also a political one inasmuch as Democrats are the party of government.
The irony of course is that 'Obamacare' is actually something like what 'responsible' Republicans were putting forward at the time as the market-based alternative to the dreaded ClintonCare. (Yes, for you youngins', before Obamacare there was ClintonCare, nee HillaryCare.) But the key is government reform being allowed to work.
Republicans know that if Obamacare gets in place, they'll never be able to repeal it. ... That's why they're fighting so hard.