But now the GOP has a problem. In the two years since the law passed, several of its parts have become very popular with voters — among them, parents' ability to keep kids on their health plans until age 26 and a ban on denying insurance because of pre-existing conditions.
So it wasn't surprising when news leaked to Politico last week that Republicans were making plans to try to preserve those popular parts of the act if the Supreme Court strikes the law down.
But the political blowback for the GOP was immediate and harsh. Staffers described dozens of calls from angry conservatives. Right-wing think tanks blasted the endorsement of what they called "government meddling in business." And just a few short hours after the news was leaked, House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, sent an email blast to the media, saying, "Our plan remains to repeal the law in its entirety. Anything short of that is unacceptable."
On Wednesday, it rolled out a new ad aimed squarely at veterans and military families. In the ad, the president says, "The sacrifices that our troops have made have been incredible. It's because of what they've done that we've been able to go after al-Qaida and kill bin Laden. And when they come home, we have a sacred trust to make sure we are doing everything we can to heal all of their wounds."