Like most of things from the Obama era, it was about the fact that the Kenyan Muslim Socialist was in the White House. Push a conservative really hard about what was wrong with Obamacare and after screeching about socialism for awhile they'd eventually get to the mandate. And, you know, fair enough. Making people buy shitty insurance they can't afford when some of their neighbors were getting that nice free Medicaid wasn't very good policy, though the mandate hasn't actually even been enforced yet.
But mostly opposition to Obamacare was like Benghazi. Peel away the layers of wingutese and there just wasn't anything there. And as we've learned, elected Republicans aren't any different from internet wingnuts these days. Sure some of them literally want people to die, but most of them just know wingnut word salad and don't understand what the point of anything was.
I could've come up with plan that conservatives probably would've liked the sound of better (and most of them are to thick to know anything deeper than that), and which would've allowed their precious tax cuts and punted the "die faster" aspects down the road long enough. If they give me ONE MILLION DOLLARS I'll even tell them what it is. OK, it would still be worse, so I'll need TEN MILLION DOLLARS, but they should be willing to pay that.*
But the best the superwonks in the Republican party could come up with was "just like Obamacare, only bigly shittier."
And oh holy fucking hell Peggy Noonan wrote a decent column today.
*...adding, the other reason they couldn't cobble together a decent law is that even though they always whine, too, the stakeholders (insurance, hospitals) are pretty thrilled about Obamacare and didn't send an army of lobbyists with legislation in hand to write Wingnutuncare.