Going back to the very beginning of debate on the matter, conservative histrionics have been remarkably effective. First, they managed to ensure that the law (itself a conservative "market-based" approach to health insurance reform) would accomplish the bare minimum of what was politically possible at the time and far less than what comprehensive health care reform should deliver.
They've also delayed and obstructed its implementation. This has allowed them extra time to rail against whatever strawman they want "Obamacare" to be. The House has voted to repeal the law roughly three million times since its passage. Now they're threatening to shut down the government over its funding. I keep reading about how embarrassing or problematic this is supposed to be for them in the mid-term elections but I think they're getting exactly what they want. Polls continue to show that "Obamacare" remains an unpopular concept although (and also partially because) most Americans have no idea how the law will actually affect them.
Repealing or defunding the health care law may be a lost cause. But to conservative voters in red states and in the badly gerrymandered congressional districts, it's a lost cause worth dying for over and over again. And the longer a majority of voters go without seeing the full benefit of the law (such as it is) begin to kick in, that will continue to be the case.
Not to mention, it still brings in the money.
WASHINGTON -- The Senate Conservatives Fund, a political action committee connected to Heritage Foundation President Jim DeMint, raised its largest-ever monthly total for a non-election year this August while running a campaign pressuring Republican senators and representatives to defund Obamacare.Conservatives trolling Obamacare is sort of the new televangelism. It won't deliver the salvation from the law it promises its flock. But it will make the preachers rich and successful in the meantime. Should we really be taking this scheme so lightly?
The PAC raised more than $1.5 million in August, according to its Federal Election Commission filing, with $1.3 million of that sum coming from small donors giving under $200 each. The small-donor haul is the largest-ever monthly small-donor total brought in by the Senate Conservatives Fund.
This fundraising bonanza came as the PAC joined efforts by the Heritage Foundation and its sister 501(c)(4) nonprofit Heritage Action, along with a series of tea party groups, to defund Obamacare. Money was pumped into an advertising and publicity campaign that, with the vocal support of Sens. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Mike Lee (R-Utah), sought to block all spending measures if they did not defund President Barack Obama's signature health care law.