For whatever reason many middle class people here who are firmly and undeniably on the dole seem to be the most vocal about the evils of socialism and government assistance. If nothing else this demands a level of hypocrisy that one wouldn't think humanly possible.
No one would be against the government assisting people in various ways if there no costs to doing so. But the costs are terribly high. They take people who would otherwise be well into the middle class and push them into poverty. Just because someone isn't starving or unable to own a car as a result of paying their taxes doesn't mean the government hasn't harmed them greatly by taking that money.
People pay a lot of attention to the relatively small number of people that the top whose lifestyle isn't affected even if they pay tons of taxes and to people at the bottom who don't pay any. But most of the story is about the guys in the middle who work hard experience great stress as they try and make their way through this world (put a decent roof over their kids, pay for their education, etc.), but nevertheless are not so poor that the government cuts them any slack. These hard working folk bear almost the entire cost of the various government programs. Taking money from someone who can barely afford it and must make great sacrifices to give it up and then giving it (or a small percentage of it, after all the waste) to someone else who isn't making sacrifices or working hard is offensive to a large percentage of Americans, even if the first group doesn't starve.
And we should remember throughout this discussion that the argument is about a marginal change from the way things are now, not a complete change. No one advocates eliminating all social programs or the entirety of the safety net. No one in America seriously advocates total government control of healthcare. Obama has shifted power to insurance companies and employers away from the individual. This means the individual has less control over who provides insurance. There is less competition, the insurance companies can charge more, and losing your job will be yet a bigger deal. Actually it's a mixed bag. There are many good things in his health care bill, but the thing is absolutely huge, unbelievably complex, in some cases not even feasible to implement (at any cost), and full of little pieces of unrelated pork stuck in by one politician or another.
If everyone paid their own health insurance, the way people pay their own auto insurance, insurance companies would compete much harder and offer a much greater variety of plans and better service. Auto insurance (which is mandatory) is one of the industries with the highest satisfaction rate there is. If companies provided auto insurance, auto insurance would cost far more and treat you much worse.
The health care bill in question didn't actually make that large of changes to the system, but it ignored the most broken parts of the system and made others worse than they are now. If his health care bill was for socialization like in Europe or Canada this would be a different discussion.
Examples of things ignored in Obama's health care bill:
1. The AMA artificially restricting the number of doctors, causing acute shortages and high incomes. In some specialties (dermatology, anesthesiology, radiology, orthopedic surgery, etc.) the shortage and wages are absolutely unbelievable.
2. A government committee that has been lobbied hard into paying certain doctors millions of dollars per year instead of something like a market wage. Normally when there's an easy job that pays a ton, lots of people enter the profession and drive prices down, but they can't do it here because of #1.
3. Company sponsorship of heathcare plans instead of individual choice prevents insurance companies from needing to treat people well and also insulates people from realizing how much of their wealth is paying for medical care. This does affect the life choices they make and their expectations.
4. Doctors can be sued for millions in malpractice, but can buy insurance against this. This means they charge much more than they would (in order to pay for the insurance) but if they do bad things and harm their patients, they can continue to practice without hindrance. In other words the lawsuits are not about punishing the doctors or making sure malpractice is avoided, but just about dumping huge sums of money on victims (or people pretending to be victims) and their lawyers.
5. Hospitals charge individuals, small insurance companies, and medicare far, far less than they charge big insurance companies and medicaid for the same services. The difference is so large that it's basically not feasible to pay for even routine treatments yourself. As a result, people without insurance just don't pay at all, which passes the costs on and leads the hospitals to mark up prices for individuals even more in order to write it off on their taxes.
6. Hospitals are compelled by law to provite for lots of things for people who will not pay. My brother is a doctor and tells me that he sees people all day who either are trying to get drugs from their doctors (many doctors just prescribe them...it doesn't cost them anything and it gets these people out the door faster) or taking advantage of the fact that the hospital can't kick them out easily to treat a very expensive hospital bed like it was cheap housing. There are many stories of people who couldn't afford treatment they needed, but for the most part these are people who have not learned how to cheat the system.
These are all things a bill could have changed, which would have helped us far more than what was done without socializing the whole thing (I am not a doctor, so I don't know all the others). In my opinion, total government takeover makes more sense than what was done, and I hate government takeovers.
The vehement anti-Obama sentiment about Obamacare stems mostly from partisanship, not good cause--that's true of almost all vehement sentiment. The bill does hurt things and for the most part doesn't help, but it's nowhere near changing the US healthcare system in a fundamental way.