I still feel the way I did in 2009 when I wrote that "progressive groupthink hindered health reform." The reflexive instinct to support a Democratic-proposed policy led to the mind-bending spectacle of liberals from Rachel Maddow to Paul Krugman cheering for an "individual mandate" policy which was designed in a conservative think tank as a boon to private corporations.
It's also worth noting that, whatever you think of Obamacare's merits, this story reinforces the perception that today's Democratic leaders are pretty terrible at messaging. John Boehner's spokesperson was understandably gleeful when he said "The speaker's objective is to spare the entire country from the ravages of the president's health care law. He is approached daily by American citizens, including members of Congress and staff, who want to be freed from its mandates. If the speaker has the opportunity to save anyone from Obamacare, he will."
It should've been pretty easy to see that coming, too.
We argued then that it was ethically unacceptable and economically unwise to force people to buy a lousy private-sector insurance product. The only way to mitigate that would be by offering them membership in a publicly-managed Medicare plan. But the combination of high-pressure lobbying and presidential indifference made sure that didn't happen.
This doesn't mean that "Obamacare" should be repealed, although it now seems that nothing short of Medicare-For-All (or, at a minimum, all-payer) can save our broken healthcare system. But it does mean that the battle for decent health care in this country isn't over. In fact, it's only begun.