Unlike other traditional liberal social programs, Obamacare does not have the usual “cash and prizes” giveaway features. Obamaphones, food stamps, Medicare, Social Security, farm subsidies, and the like, all involve taxing 40% or 50% of the people at progressive rates to give the money to some smaller, identifiable group. The benefits have real “found money” features.
Obamacare, by contrast, is more like giving someone as a gift for Christmas a new Jaguar on which you have only made a down payment. Here’s your new car (that you would never have bought and that you must now pay $800 a month to keep)! People who were already responsible and getting health insurance will get more than they need or want. Those who are on the fringe and do not now have healthcare, living in the gap between Medicaid and sufficient income/foresight to get insurance, probably still will forego the Bronze plans. Lots of tragedies related to a lack of insurance will continue. People with insurance will magnify their own inconveniences with healthcare, such as being dropped from plans or not being able to keep their doctors or get a certain experimental treatment, and blame it on Obamacare. And, in the end, this entire Rube Goldberg contraption will probably cost a lot, end up being gamed like crazy, and lead to few identifiable improvements in health outcomes.