Obama's ironic piecemeal defense of ObamaCare

Obama chose to go big, and he won. But now, as Obamacare hangs in the balance before the Supreme Court, the president is defending his signature achievement as if it were the set of smaller, piecemeal reforms that he once rejected.

In his recent campaign appearances, Obama has defended Obamacare for its ban on insurance companies denying coverage on the basis of pre-existing conditions; for its provision to allow adult children to stay on their parents’ plan until age 26; and for its expansion of prescription drug coverage. Each of those measures, Obama says, was “the right thing to do.” Only once in his most recent appearances has Obama even mentioned the main feature of Obamacare, that is, its scheme to extend health care coverage to more than 30 million currently-uncovered Americans…

The latest turns in Obama stump speech suggest how he will defend Obamacare should the Court strike down the law’s individual mandate. Obama and Democrats front-loaded Obamacare with popular features, like the ban on pre-existing conditions, that have already gone into effect, while putting off universal coverage, with its mandates and subsidies and Medicare cuts and taxes, until 2014. Should the mandate be struck down, Obama will focus on preserving those other features. And if the entire law is struck down, Obama will likely press Congress to re-instate those features.. On the stump, Obama is defending Obamacare as if it were a small package of reforms, rather than the law that actually passed.