Bit by bit, the Democrats/liberals have piled on their social engineering, eroding individual rights and personal freedom with each layer.
Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, welfare, multiculturalism, political correctness, affirmative action, school busing, federal funding for student loans, Department of Education, food stamps, gun control. Some few sensitives, the canaries (sometimes called libertarians), balked and tried to alert the lethargic masses to the dangers ahead with each turn of the screw. Most barely glanced up at the fuss and then shrugged and went back to acceptance and complacency.
You can't fight city hall anyway, can you?
In psychology, there is a process referred to as jnd - just noticeable difference:
The just noticeable difference (jnd), also known as the difference threshold, is the minimum level of stimulation that a person can detect 50-percent of the time. For example, if you were asked to hold two objects of different weights, the just noticeable difference would be the minimum weight difference between the two that you could sense half of the time.
If you wish to pile more and more weight on an individual or a society, without a resultant protest, you increase the weight by the minimal amount (jnd) that will alert the burdened. If you get it wrong, the intended beast of burden will balk. It may even decide to dump the load altogether.
A similar theory to this is the frog in the pot of water. Drop a frog into hot water, and it will jump out. But, if you put the frog in cold water and heat it slowly, the frog will slowly sink into lethargy, probably with a dopey smile on its little green face. This is official notice that the animal analogy has shifted from beast of burden to amphibian. (A very smooth segue, if I do say so myself.)
Which brings me to Obamacare. Obamacare was a hugely noticeable difference. The heat was turned up on the frog in the pot and he is struggling to get out.
The Democrats could probably have managed to sneak the idea into legislation bit by bit, but they decided to go for broke. They had harbored the dream of nationalized medicine for so long that they made a huge miscalculation. Riding high on the euphoria of the election of the first African-American president, some of the old lefties thought their time had come. When President Obama delegated the reform of health care to Nancy Pelosi, the stage was set. The President is a strategic thinker, but he handed the ball off to true believers.
2000+ complicated pages of legislation don't just appear out of thin air. Gaggles of old policy wonks had those pages ready. They dusted them off and rushed to Nan's office with them. At which point, some poor over-worked and underpaid congressional aides had to assemble the mess into some sort of a whole. The Dems figured they had a slam dunk going, so they threw in everything from their old '60's wish list.
At this point, I would like to give a general warning to voters: any time the Congress says it is going to do "comprehensive" anything - get on the phone/email to your representative and tell him/her to back off. Nothing good ever comes of comprehensive legislation.
During the campaign of 2008, candidate Obama promised transparency. He promised that any health care legislation would be posted in its entirety for 5 days online before any congressional votes. Needless to say that didn't happen. I am not going to recount in detail the ugly sausage-making process that 'delivered' ACA, but a few aspects are worth noting.
In the run up to passing the legislation, many reps and senators returned to their districts to hold town hall meetings on the bill. To their surprise, they were met by voters telling them they didn't want this legislation and that the process was entirely too complex and moving too quickly. Enter the Democrats' ground troops to try to prevent citizens from airing their beefs about the legislation. They often got to the town hall meetings early and took up all the space inside or used organized tactics to drown out dissent.
This treatment by the Democrats' 'muscle' consolidated the nascent local tea party groups into a national movement. They developed email lists and organized via Facebook to make sure they would get seats at the town hall meetings. This legislation kept moving forward despite the dissent; phone lines and email accounts were overloaded in Washington DC with messages from opponents to the bill. Nevertheless, the Democrats passed the bill by bending Senate rules and a total disregard for the legislative process by the Speaker of the House.
The resultant law became known as Obamacare and is touted as the President's 'signature achievement'. It will be difficult for the President to distance himself, as he seeks re-election, from legislation that has entered the vernacular tagged with his name.
A lot of Americans believed the Supreme Court would resolve the issue for them. It didn't. Chief Justice Roberts put the ball back in the voters' court. He also reaffirmed the limits of the federal government on mandates to the individual states. Many of the governors have taken up the fight against government centered health care. Unlike with the divisive Roe v Wade decision, voters will have a chance to be heard on Obamacare via the election process.
The frog has hauled itself up to the rim of the pot, let's see if it has the good sense to jump out in November.