the difference between a party that believes that democratic governments are a good thing vs. a party that thinks the private sector ought to do everything but defense
I wish there was an example of the former in this country. The ACA was the largest government handout to industry in possibly the history of government. The dems have given comfy speeches from time to time about restricting the power and influence of the private sector but then when the time comes to actually write and vote on bills their actions are the opposite of that.
That doesn't change the fact that what was passed in 2009 was in no small part influenced by the Heritage Foundation and their own requirement for an individual mandate.
That's not what we're arguing here.
Are you pretending that the democrats actually campaigned in 2008 on the actions that went into the ACA? What went into that bill was awful. The GOP would have happily voted in favor of it if only the white house were occupied by a republican; they opposed it because they didn't want a democrat to get credit for health care reform.
Except that Obama was willing to sign damned near any piece that crossed his desk,
Would love a cite on this considering everything that's been written about this topic ad nauseam is that this was an issue close to Obama's heart,
Obama campaigned on health care reform, but the bill did largely the opposite of that. He said he was going to bring us more choices and instead this bill makes us obligate consumers of a giant for-profit industry that makes money by denying access to health care. This is not what he said he would do.
(and trying and failing same with the GOP side).
He gave the GOP the bill they wanted. They just didn't want someone with a (D) after their name to get credit for signing it into law.