Must-Read: David Leonhardt: The Original Republican Lie About Obamacare: “It’s often said in a tone of regret: I wish Obama had done health reform in a bipartisan way…

…It is false…. That it’s nonetheless stuck helps explain how the Republicans have landed in such a mess on health care…. The AARP doesn’t like the bill, nor do groups representing doctors, nurses, hospitals, the disabled and people with cancer, diabetes and multiple sclerosis. Other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, it’s a great bill…. How did the party’s leaders put themselves in this position?… They began believing their own hype….

Barack Obama… could continue moving the party to the center or tack back to the left. The second option would have focused on… expanding Medicare to start at age 55. But Obama and his team thought a plan that mixed government and markets—farther to the right of Clinton’s—could cover millions of people and had a realistic chance of passing. They embarked on a bipartisan approach. They borrowed from Mitt Romney’s plan in Massachusetts, gave a big role to a bipartisan Senate working group, incorporated conservative ideas and won initial support from some Republicans. The bill also won over groups that had long blocked reform, like the American Medical Association.

But congressional Republicans ultimately decided that opposing any bill, regardless of its substance, was in their political interest…. At that point, Obama faced a second choice–between forging ahead with a substantively bipartisan bill and forgetting about covering the uninsured. The kumbaya plan for which pundits now wax nostalgic was not an option. The reason is simple enough: Obamacare is the bipartisan version of health reform. It accomplishes a liberal end through conservative means and is much closer to the plan conservatives favored a few decades ago than the one liberals did….

Having run out of political ground, Ryan, McConnell and Trump have had to invent the notion of a socialistic Obamacare that they will repeal and replace with… something great!… Their approach to Obamacare has worked quite nicely for them, until now. Lying can be an effective political tactic. Believing your own alternative facts, however, is usually not so smart.