It’s absolutely true that every policy wonk who was writing or speaking about the law in 2009 and 2010 understood that it would mean premiums going up for at least some people, many of whom would lose insurance that they would have preferred to keep. Who it would be depended a bit on how the law unfolded, of course, but at a minimum, young, healthy people who made more than $46,000 a year [that's the approximate figure for a single person making 400% of poverty level] could expect to pay higher premiums for the same level of coverage. They had to; mathematically, it was not possible for coverage to expand and everyone’s premiums to go down — not unless you spent more in premium subsidies than the government could afford.
Obama’s lies about everyone keeping their doctor/health plans if they like them are potentially an enormous problem for him. However, what ultimately happens depends at least in part on whether, when the dust clears and people finally get insurance, more people are helped by Obamacare than hurt by it. I suspect more will be hurt. But even if somewhat more end up being helped, an awful lot of people just don’t like being lied to, especially about a material fact that impacts their lives.
Bill Clinton lied to the American people in what was a flagrant manner when he said, shaking his finger:
Whatever strange and narrow legal definition Clinton had used in his Paula Jones case deposition, virtually no one listening to what he said in that clip would think he was defining “sexual relations” in such an arcane manner. When you address the American public, your words mean what they ordinarily do. And the same goes for Obama’s oft-repeated pledge. It has an obvious meaning that completely resists any spin that operatives may try to put on it. “Everybody” knows what it means, and they are correct.
But in the end Clinton got away with his lies. Not without angst, of course. But he remained president, and he’s now a sort-of-respected elder statesman of the Democratic Party, who just might end up making history by being the first First Man. The difference between Clinton’s lie and Obama’s, however, is that Clinton lied about something intensely private that really did not directly affect the American people very much, and the subject matter (lying about sex) was one with which an awful lot of people could identify. Plus, he didn’t do it to pass a bill that would directly affect their lives in some very intrusive ways on some very personal matters.
Obama did just that. And now it’s the American people who might be paying for it: literally.
In 2009 I wrote a lengthy article comparing Obama to a con man. At the time it was more or less a metaphor, although I thought it was a very apt one. He’d conned them into electing him. He’d conned them into trusting him. He’d conned them into thinking he was more moderate than he was. And so on and so forth.
But this time, he has actually conned them, literally. People tend not to like that very much.
[ADDENDUM: Why did Obama lie? He was reassuring Harry and Louise. It occurs to me that perhaps it was Bill Clinton himself---who was especially aware of the details of what happened with the Clintons' health insurance reform proposal in the 90s---who might have advised him to lie, and what to lie about. Yes indeed, it's Bill Clinton's fault!]