In the end all americans would pay for everyone's health care.
How so? Half of them don't pay federal income taxes. How would "all Americans" pay?
I thought this system was supposed to work via taxes? Maybe I'm wrong.
Willing to sacrifice a part of your income to ensure that every fellow citizen gets insurance may not be altruism but it's the opposite of a selfish "Why should I pay for your health care?" attitude.
You didn't listen. Willingness to sacrifice a part of your income is altruism. But that's not what is happening here. People who are altruistic like that can already do it and sacrifice a part of their income.
But what isn't altruism is a willingness to sacrifice a part of somebody else's income, regardless of whether it is for one's own needs or for the needs of a third party.
By altruism as motive I mean that the pro faction sees it as a selfless act, a desire to do what is right, untainted by hidden nefarious agendas.
The pro faction see it as a selfless act to take other people's money.
And the con faction see it as a selfless act to let people keep their money.
It all comes down to whether the people in favour or against the act would actually sacrifice their own money for it. And it seems to me like Obama had a majority among voters who don't actually pay taxes but seem to find it an act of caring to spend other people's money.
Tax money should be used for things that cannot be done by private industry, either because it's impractical or because it contradicts the government monopoly on force (i.e. streets and police and such). Anything else is just using the state as a mechanism to transfer wealth from some people to others. And that has nothing to do with charity or caring unless you willingly give yourself, which, again, most of Obama's voters are NOT considering.