Did Obama fail to justify why universal coverage is necessary?

Theodore Marmor thinks Obama missed a step, writing in the Journal of Health Politics, Policy, and Law,

But what makes the Obama reform package a just one? Or a morally compelling legislative effort — and to what end? The expression “affordable health care for every American” was bandied about, but it was not and still is not clearly defined. Instead, it was repeatedly invoked as a means to go beyond the various personal horror stories told and retold throughout the long debate. In fact, there was little talk about why affordable health care for all is a good idea, much less an important or democratic one. […]

Having neglected a clear account of why universal health insurance was justified, the administration now must offer that account postenactment. They will need to rally a public in response to the certain efforts of their Republican opponents to, first, attempt repeal and then, when unable to do that, to weaken the ACA as it faces an extended implementation schedule that stretches beyond Obama’s first term, let alone the Congress of 2010.

I’m puzzled by this, but I recognize that one reason for that may be that I’m too close to health reform and health care. I know too well the importance of affordable care and the purpose of universal coverage. As such, even vague hints or terse references to the arguments call them to my mind in full.

Maybe the vast majority of the populace, being far less plugged in to the health care policy debate, missed the crucial arguments. Did Obama and the Democrats fail to justify health reform? What do you think? If so, what should they have done differently? How much do you think it would have mattered and why?

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