If you’re going to require everyone to purchase health insurance, you’ve got to define what you mean by “health insurance.” In particular, you’ve got to have minimum standards. Obamacare, for example, forbids lifetime ceilings on how much your insurance company must pay out. This was no secret. Did people think they could get this added benefit for free? I’m afraid Obama encouraged them to think so. And Americans’ willingness to believe that they can get something for nothing remains the bane of our politics.
Whether it’s “you can keep your own doctor” or “you can keep your own insurance policy,” Hillarycare faltered and Obamacare is faltering because people are dishonest to themselves about change. They say they want it—they express outrage that they don’t have it—but when they’re threatened with it, they curl up into a ball and tell it to go away. They don’t want things to stay vaguely the same, and maybe a little better—which is what Obama probably thought he was saying. They want everything exactly the same.
That is impossible, and Obama was foolish as well as mendacious to promise it. ...
So it boils down to a political system that promises something for nothing and a public that willingly accepts the deal. Why are we not surprised.