The Health Care law involves the government in certain aspects of health care policy, such as setting up exchanges and enforcing the individual mandate requiring everyone to carry health insurance. To call this a “takeover” of health care is disingenuous at best, particularly since the public option was removed from the final bill. It’s probably safe to go ahead and call this claim a lie, as the people advancing it generally know it to be false. We can, in other words, fairly confidently establish intentionality in this case.
The rhetorical advantages of calling the new law a “government takeover” are obvious. It would be difficult to get people into the streets over “government regulation of insurance companies.” This is the problem with President Obama’s call to honesty. Honesty may be the best policy, but it’s not the best politics.