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The Boston Globe

Opinion

SCOT LEHIGH

The GOP’s Obamacare whale hunt

Obamacare is no mere paper law. No indeed. For the GOP’s ideological Captain Ahabs, it has become a public-policy white whale, a leviathan that must be harpooned at any cost. So it is that the Tea Party types are now demanding that Republican officeholders resort to shut-down-the-government brinksmanship to slay the cetaceous statute.

For those with long memories, the spectacle can be amusing. A key piece of the Affordable Care Act is the requirement that those who don’t have health care coverage purchase a policy. That was once a credentialed conservative idea, an exemplar of personal responsibility popularized by the Heritage Foundation. From there, it became a Republican congressional alternative to Hillarycare and then the centerpiece of Romneycare, whose elaborate signing ceremony included a speaker from the conservative think tank.

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