After spending President Obama’s first term emboldening the most ideologically intense elements of the conservative movement, elected Republicans are now finding themselves in a box on critical issues like health care and taxes with limited options to avert national crises.
On health care, Republicans are coming to grips with the prospect of owning a mess of a system if the Supreme Court overturns ‘Obamacare’ this month.
The central pillars of the health care reform law — guaranteed coverage regardless of health status, an individual mandate to buy insurance and subsidies delivered via exchanges — were originally crafted by moderate conservatives and have long enjoyed support in the GOP. But after Obama embraced the template, Republicans ran to the right and abandoned it in an effort to undermine him politically. Now, as they try to sneak back closer to the center, the hard-right base that they’ve empowered is giving them hell.
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