I find this detail from a new Politico article worth highlighting. It is more verification that the Obama 2008 campaign messaging around health care reform was based on lies and active deception. From Politico:
At the advice of his political advisers, Obama sought to undercut Clinton by accusing her of pushing for an individual mandate — an idea borrowed from Republicans that polled poorly with independents and conservative Democrats in critical battlegrounds like Pennsylvania and Ohio.
Aides say Obama was simply looking for any way to differentiate himself from an opponent whose basic policy positions were indistinguishable from his own. After Clinton dropped out in June 2008, Obama was privately telling his staff that any health care reform he proposed would most likely include a mandate.
The same dynamic played out in the general election. John McCain’s plan to tax some employer provided insurance was the basis for one of Obama most frequently run attack ads, but Obama then fought to make sure an excise tax on employer provide insurance was one of the main funding sources in the Affordable Care Act.
Given this history it still amazes me some Democrats are surprised Obamacare become very unpopular or think its unpopularity is completely the GOP’s fault.
Obama directly lied to the American people about his health care plan for political gain. He then insisted his law include the provisions his own polling showed were very unpopular, which had made great political weapons in the attack ads he ran. Provision his campaign helped make even more popular by first actively campaigning against them.
The result was a bill people couldn’t trust that contained several unpopular provisions and broken promises. Yet despite all this Democrats were still genuinely shocked it didn’t immediately become popular.