What happened to Obamacare? Rhetoric met reality. As both candidate and president, the master rhetorician could conjure a world in which he bestows upon you health care nirvana: more coverage, less cost.
But you can't fake it in legislation. Once you commit your fantasies to words and numbers, the Congressional Budget Office comes along and declares that the emperor has no clothes.
President Obama premised the need for reform on the claim that medical costs are destroying the economy. True. But now we learn - surprise! - that universal coverage increases costs. The congressional Democrats' health care plans, says the CBO, increase costs in the range of $1 trillion plus.
In response, the president retreated to a demand that any bill he sign be revenue neutral. But that's classic misdirection: If the fierce urgency of health care reform is to radically reduce costs that are producing budget-destroying deficits, revenue neutrality (by definition) leaves us on precisely the same path to insolvency that Obama himself declares unsustainable.[...]