"Repeal and replace" has been a Republican mantra for nearly as long as Obamacare has been in existence. Yet one of the GOP's rumored 2016 front-runners isn't playing along. Ohio Gov. John Kasich, who is expected to cruise to reelection this year and then seek the Republican nomination in 2016, recently told the Associated Press that repealing the Affordable Care is "not gonna happen." "The opposition to it was really either political or ideological," he said. "I don't think that holds water against real flesh and blood, and real improvements in people's lives."
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This is heresy on the political right, although it shouldn't be. It's easy to forget, but the basic idea of Obamacare -- a system of competing private insurance plans, with subsidies to help lower income people pay them -- used to have the support from many conservatives. Many of the law's features, like a cap on the tax exemption for group health insurance, remain popular on the right. And while Republicans don't typically like Medicaid, there's a long history of Republican governors working with Washington to implement the program in ways that ultimately benefit their states. The reason you don't hear more praise like this from Republicans is largely political (it's Obama's law) and ideological (it involves some government intervention) -- which, of course, was precisely Kasich's point.