Public spending on healthcare is a very attractive target for Republicans, whose primary goal is to transfer wealth from the body politic to the oligarchy, otherwise known as the one percent. The one percent is their true constituency. It pays for their campaigns and their perks, for the cushy, lucrative lobbying positions when out of office, and no-work jobs for spouses and children. Their constituents are merely rubes to be bamboozled for votes to keep them in power and in wealth.
Could the corruption here be any more apparent? Health "reform" first; to provide the funds for tax "reform" that will lower taxes on capital, corporations, and high-income individuals.
The usual modus operandi of the Republicans is however running into two obstacles when it comes to gutting public spending on healthcare for the masses, to cut taxes on the rich. The first obstacle is Republican dogma regarding deficits. Whether true believers or not, the right wing in the US has run on small government and balanced budgets for so long they believe they cannot pass massive tax cuts for the economic elite without finding spending offsets. Usually this can be done by targeting the poor and marginalized, or with a wink and a nod regarding fiscal discipline. However with healthcare, considering how convoluted and inefficient the US system is, and its significant percentage of the economy, the costs of providing healthcare to the working and middles classes need to be targeted.
The second obstacle to Republican health-care "reform" is that people are paying attention. This issue is up close and personal to the masses who have suffered for years from healthcare anxiety. Deductibles and co-pays have been rising several times faster than incomes. Access is increasingly cumbersome. Most people know that their health outcomes are tied to employee-sponsored plans, and that their employment status is tenuous at best. The self-employed know that before Obamacare (with all its flaws), premiums were ridiculously expensive and coverage at the whim of the insurance monolith. The masses are very aware that insurance status can literally be a matter of life or death.
Originally, the plan was to sacrifice the poor and disabled through drastic cuts to Medicaid. Next, the Republican plan targeted older (50s and 60s) beneficiaries of Obamacare. Now the target is apparently people with pre-existing conditions.
The Republicans are paralyzed trying to figure out which segments of society, Republican and Democrat alike, to sacrifice in fealty to their God of tax-cuts for the one percent. This sacrifice would necessarily include shorter life-spans, premature death, and financial ruin to many unlucky members of this sacrificial class.
The ugly Social Darwinism of the Conservative movement is currently on vivid display. Voters must decide if they are willing to be sacrificial lambs to the avarice of the oligarchy. It's a matter of life and death.