A Week Before Midterms, GOP Devastated By The Fact That The Affordable Care Act’s Working


Though the paper of record does its frustrating best to bury the implications in an innocuous headline, this week The New York Times published an assortment of answers to the question, “Is the Affordable Care Act Working?” Leveraging seven specific subqueries, a variety of writers evaluate the data one year from the official rollout of Obamacare, assessing the legislation’s early efficacy.

If readers are able to get past the meaningless non-reporting of the piece’s opening summary, there is plenty of good news to be found:

“After a year fully in place, the Affordable Care Act has largely succeeded in delivering on President Obama’s main promises, an analysis by a team of reporters and data researchers shows. But it has also fallen short in some ways and given rise to a powerful conservative backlash.”

Let’s take a step back from the inexplicably conflicted tone of this summation and jump right into question one, asked and answered by writer Margot Sanger-Katz. The legislation’s first and most important goal was deceptively simple: lower the number of the hardworking uninsured, who live just one accident or illness away from financial ruin. So, “Has the percentage of uninsured people been reduced?”

The answer just 12 months later is a resounding yes. Per Sanger-Katz, “The number of Americans without health insurance has been reduced by about 25 percent this year — or eight million to 11 million people.” The detailed response offers a number of facts, figures and charts that elaborate on the myriad ways in which formerly shutout people are now able to avail themselves of at least basic coverage – the extension of benefits to young adults attached to parental policies, expansion of Medicaid (despite 23 red states rejecting the aid for purely shameful, partisan reasons), etc.

Honestly, were the analysis to stop there, it would be material enough for supportive Democratic candidates to tout in the last few days of midterm campaigning. At the same time, the unbendable numbers should leave obstinate Republicans who did everything possible to stop Obamacare’s implementation with a lot of ‘splaining to do. We know by now, of course, that neither of these scenarios will occur. I propose a new slogan for the Affordable Care Act: Obamacare -The Most Successful Legislation in Recorded History for Which No One Wants Credit.

In the interest of brevity, I am going to skip a few other answered questions in the Times piece that point to significant patient benefits – expanded coverage at mostly affordable costs, and an end to the pre-existing conditions nightmare. Right about now you may be asking yourself: This is the 21st Century and corporations are people! How have the lowly insurers fared in this great sea change? I give you the piece’s fifth question and answer:

“Has the health care industry been helped or hurt by the law? Wall Street Analysts See Financial Boon Across the Health Care Spectrum.”

How is this possible given the immense howling we heard from the right about the threats to private sector and business growth? Writer Reed Abelson observes, “From the beginning, opponents of the Affordable Care Act have warned that it represented a ‘government takeover’ of the health care system that would lead to crippling regulations on both for-profit companies and nonprofit players. But to the contrary, Wall Street analysts and health care experts say, the industry appears to be largely flourishing, in part because of the additional business the law created.”

In another words, exactly NONE of the oft-shouted objections to reforming America’s broken health care system came to fruition. Not a one. Everyone wins except for the low-income uninsured, who remain so thanks to the cruelty of their Republican governors. This should be a huge asset to struggling Democratic candidates and a kick in the teeth to overconfident Repubs. But it won’t be. And why? Because somewhere along the way, almost every single legislator as well as the mass media decided to buy into the GOP’s narrative. Obamacare is a very bad thing.

Even the “liberal rag” New York Times offers no assistance in righting this ideological injustice. How to else to explain the throwaway last sentence of the article’s opening summary: “[Obamacare] has also fallen short in some ways and given rise to a powerful conservative backlash.” Um, so what? Show me a piece of perfect legislation and I’ll show you a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow. Also, here’s a short list of other forces that have given rise to “powerful conservative backlash:” a woman’s right to make family planning choices, the normal functioning of government and the living and breathing of one Barack Obama.

The numbers are out. Will they make a dent in the collective ACA dithering, hair-splitting and denial in time to make a difference at the polls?

24 Replies to “A Week Before Midterms, GOP Devastated By The Fact That The Affordable Care Act’s Working”

  1. A political party that does not want its citizens to have healthcare, a living wage, the right to vote, clean air, water, healthy foods, an education…needs to do a morals check. [WINK]

  2. Capitalism has failed this country and socialism continues to bail it out, yet few will acknowledge the obvious.

    Guess we’ll have to have major set backs such as no water, no jobs and horrific weather patterns to get their attention.

    Then again, we’re talking about human lust for power and money.

  3. Obamacare is not run by the government, but by the states. There is the Federal website, but that still ends up at the states. The government doesnt handle the insurances. So it would be terribly hard for the government to take over healthcare.

    But this could never be understood by a conservative who has lou dobbs lying to him day and night

  4. Give it time… anyone can pull 2 positive metrics and no president really sees the results of their actions while they are in office.

    I’m just waiting until my company actually gets rid of our insurance and decides to go to Obamacare because as they stated in the note they were required to send me: “I will pay more for less coverage”.

  5. Does is make anyone else angry that Democrats on the most part run as fast as they can away from their achievements? They have let the Republicans and media win in demonizing healthcare for people. Allison Grimes is afraid to say she voted for the President when her state benefits greatly from the ACA. I wonder how the African American community really feels about these democrats that court their vote but will not mention the President’s name?

  6. I am sick and tired of Democrats allowing Republicans to do the messaging. They should have nicked the attack on the AHA from day one. I know Kay Hagan did not run away from the AHA. Why should she? It’s health insurance, not Ebola, for God’s sake.

  7. And the hatred goes on. Anything that helps the whole, some politicians hate. A class system indeed! Hatred is the boggy man that destroys any good mind and those that adopt it.

  8. FYI: The Great Lakes have plenty of water and the lake levels are up this year. It’s folks moving to areas with limited water that is the problem. Come to Michigan and see how great it is to have so many lakes within a short drive.

  9. Come to Michigan and see how great it is to have so many lakes within a short drive.
    And the kochsuckers are rubbing their hands with glee thinking of ways on how to f*ck it up

  10. The Center for Budget and Policy Priorities has released some very interesting on state levle Medicaid spending in 2014:

    The 28 states (including Washington, D.C.) that have expanded Medicaid or will expand it this fiscal year (2015) expect their Medicaid spending to grow by 4.4 percent this year, compared to 6.8 percent among non-expansion states, Kaiser’s annual survey finds (see graph)…What’s more, state Medicaid spending growth will actually slow in expansion states this year, down from 6.6 percent last year. Meanwhile, non-expansion states expect a modest uptick in state spending growth from last year.

  11. This article doesn’t actually say anything. It is propaganda. It says corporate profits are up according to Wall St. Of course they are, that’s who benefits the most from this. Could Health Care have not been reformed without going this route, and the answer is of course.

  12. Health Care could have been reformed going any route.

    The article says far more people are insured and THEY benefit too. It seems you dont understand that. If corporations are benefiting thats fine, that means more jobs. But I forget, republicans hate jobs

  13. The Nebraska Senate Republican candidate Ben Sasse is running on a platform of being against everything you mention. He is polling to win in a landslide. I despair.

  14. You are wrong, the ACA isn’t insurance. If you get insurance through your employer nothing changes unless, just like as always, you employer wants to go to a different insurance company. Take some time and read about how the insurance industry actually works. The more people in the insurance pool, the cheaper the rate. So just like your group plan at work, the ACA makes insurance MORE AFFORDABLE for ALL AMERICANS regardless. The more people in the plan the cheaper the rates can go. It’s called buying in bulk.

  15. Republican voters vote against themselves because 1) they don’t question whichever propaganda they partake of and, more importantly, 2) they don’t see themselves as the beneficiary of any of those “entitlements” only as the ones paying for it. They forget the myriad of benefits they do get that others don’t. It’s ignorant arrogance, a deadly combination, and they’re armed.

  16. Sarwate has hit it on the head in her critique of the NY Times for suggesting that Obamacare is in any way problematic because it has been the object of conservative backlash!!!! Holy cow!! Why would anyone consider that as a shortfall or weakness in any policy. Would we say that the Civil Rights Act was problematic because the Klan opposed it?? Kudos to Sarwate for nailing the NY Times for its bogus summary.

  17. Democrats are the bulling victims of republicans and their paid for news media whores. Been that way since the 1980s when this nation was joked into voting for a man that only had acting as his most outstanding achievement. No other country on the earth do we see a political party run away from success as the current leaders of the democratic party.. It is about time for demos to start electing people with a little backbone to defend their party. Hell the republicans don’t care what the everyday man thinks of them. Especially when they know that the demos will throw their own mothers under the bus if the political grease gets a little warm in the political frying pan.

  18. Well, he’s not exactly lying. I own a small business – 7 employees. I’m not exactly rich, but I’m doing OK. I pay well and I take care of my employees. For the last 15 years, I have paid health insurance in full for them AND their families. They contributed not a penny. That changes this year. Thanks to the ACA, my rates have gone through the roof for the same coverage we had last year, and the only way to keep it would require contributions at amounts they probably can’t afford. We’re down to to three choices: 1. cheaper plan with far less coverage than we used to have, and I can still pay it all. 2. Same coverage and they contribute, but as I said earlier that’s not going to work for them. 3. Kill the company provided plan and let everyone go to healthcare.gov – where even the lower level gold plans are not as good as what we used to provide. Not saying the ACA isn’t working for some folks – but like with anything, there are winners and losers.

  19. Sounds to me like you arnt very smart. the ACA subsidizes small companys like yours, sometimes up to 100% of the cost.

    And its not the ACA thats costing you money, its the health care corporations like BCBS who are gouging you. The same way they used to

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