I think we are wagging the dog here on accepting that ACA "went too far and drove the right-wing backlash". Simply because ACA was almost exactly RomneyCare, just with a smaller mandate fine. I think Democrats made a tactical mistake by not just calling it RomneyCare, but in fact it was Republicans who called it ObamaCare just to demonize it. They never complained about RomneyCare.

They made a huge deal about the mandate: An idea of how to add "personal responsibility" right out of the Heritage Foundation. Nope, the main defect of ACA was that Democrats voted for it, and the "the Black Guy" signed it into law. So it had to be bad. The backlash against it was pure Republican recruitment of xenophobia (Barack HUSSEIN Obama) and racism. But ACA was not important. If it had not been passed, it would have been something else.

Remember back when the US recognized only Taiwan as China? That nonsense persisted for years. Then Nixon went to China, and suddenly China was China. But only Nixon could have done it, because if anybody else had, Nixon would have called them a commie! ACA was the same thing. It's only legal if a Republican does it.