And the public never even took the bait in the first place.
The gist of the message is that from the outset the calculations to sell Obamacare to the American public were slipshod and/or naive and/or mistaken and/or simplistic and/or lies.
And this is news to exactly whom?
Of course, large federal government programs are like that; that’s why many people are distrustful of them in the first place. Small pilot programs are the way to experiment with things. Local and state programs are the way to experiment with things. And then keep, or expand, the ones that seem to work. Redesigning the health care insurance system of the entire US at one fell swoop is inherently risky, and the promises that this would constitute an improvement should always have been taken with a grain of salt.
Actually, when Obama assured the American people that their health insurance premiums would be lowered by “up to $2,500 for a typical family per year” he was saying absolutely nothing on the face of it, although he was counting on his listeners to hear something and like what they heard. But a statement such as his merely means that a “typical” family (whatever that is; a family of four? living in what state?) would face a ceiling of $2,500 for the amount its premiums might be lowered per year. He’d be technically correct if a single “typical” family had its premiums lowered $2,500, and all the other families of that type had theirs lowered by a dollar. Or even had them raised.
In other words, it was a meaningless statement.
What will actually happen is anyone’s guess, including the author of the Forbes piece critical of Obama. One reason is that there is no “typical” family, because (a) the present state-to-state variation among what families of the same size are paying is vast; and (b) since poorer families will be subsidized by less-poor ones, families of the same size will end up paying very different premiums depending on income. So even an average premium would tell us very little.
What’s more, Obamacare is supposed to be financed in part by the famous individual mandate. But the penalty for not enrolling is far less than the yearly premium would be for most people and families, and since a person or family can enroll in Obamacare without increased penalty as soon as he/she experiences a decline in health, many people will probably wait to enroll. How will that affect the premiums of the others? Let’s just say it’s unlikely to make them go down.