Say what you want about Republicans' obsession with destroying Obamacare.
One thing they can't be accused of is acting in calculated, partisan self-interest.
If all the GOP cared about was hurting Democrats, Republicans might support the health-care law — because it threatens a core Democratic Party constituency: organized labor.
Collective bargaining in this country developed under a system of employer-based health insurance, which government encouraged via generous tax breaks.
In European nations with state-run universal coverage, unions focus on pay and working conditions. Here, they have the added function of negotiating for health benefits.
By now, that's much, if not most, of what unions do in return for members' dues.
Obamacare undermines this function and, therefore, labor's already diminished power to attract and maintain members, whose dues fill the campaign treasuries upon which many Democratic politicians depend.
The law does this in several ways. The first is the 40 percent excise tax on "Cadillac" health plans - employer-provided insurance costing more than $10,200 for individuals and $27,500 for families.
This cost-control measure, widely hailed by health-care economists, takes effect in 2018 and will hit many union plans. Over time, it will create a de facto cap on the benefits for which unions can bargain.
Obamacare's individual health-care exchanges also disfavor unions.
When organizers try to recruit members today, health care is often a big selling point. What will organizers tell workers who, thanks to Obamacare, already have access to subsidized health care?
Then there are the "Taft-Hartley" plans, which serve unions whose members work for various companies over their careers, rather than for one firm.
These plans, common in the hospitality and construction industries, gather contributions from employers and buy insurance for 6.2 million active participants, according to the Labor Department.
Obamacare menaces these affordable, portable plans by providing both workers and employers an affordable, portable alternative — the exchanges — that requires no union middleman and is partly subsidized by the tax on union plans. Suddenly, nonunion employers have a new competitive advantage.
Laborers' International Union President Terry O'Sullivan is so upset that he has threatened to support repeal of Obamacare unless the administration gives tax subsidies to Taft-Hartley plans, like it does for individuals on the exchanges. Alas for O'Sullivan, there appears to be no legal way to do so.