Maybe the president didn’t understand the basic architecture of his own health care law, which depends on a government takeover of the individual insurance market. The rules governing the new system impose a novel federal definition of insurance on the country, and plans that don’t meet it, regardless of how well they may have served their customers in the past, are, by and large, verboten. Some are grandfathered, but the rules are strict and a great many existing plans won’t pass muster.

The woes of Healthcare.gov mean that the people with cancelled policies who are supposed to go find new insurance on the exchange can’t for now, and may not be able to by December 15, when they’d need to sign up to stay insured on January 1. When and if the website is finally functioning, many of these people won’t like what they see. In contradiction of another famous Obama promise, they will be charged more for their insurance to subsidize the costs of other people on the exchanges. For millions of Americans, Obamacare will be an experience in plumbing the depths of the dishonesty of President Obama’s case for his signature domestic accomplishment.