April 15, 2014, 01:24 pm
ObamaCare: What was all the fuss about?
By Peter Fenn
Can you imagine such a headline in November 2014?
All that after hundreds of millions in Koch brothers’ negative ads, over 50 votes in the Republican-led House to eviscerate the Affordable Care Act and Republican candidates from coast to coast convinced they were going to get elected by putting all their eggs in the anti-ObamaCare basket.
And the American people were scratching their heads — really, this seems to be working, coming together, people signing up, costs down, premiums stabilizing.So, not only were the Republicans crying from the rooftops, but this was all they were campaigning on. They were offering no alternatives and, oh, yes, what were they contributing to create more jobs and improve our economy? What were they proposing? The Ryan budget … I don’t think so.
The latest reports out of the nonpartisan budget analysts at the Congressional Budget Office indicate that premiums will be lower than expected, saving $104 billion over the next decade. Yes, lower.
Projections from CBO put the number of uninsured who will be covered at 12 million people this year. By 2017, there will be an additional 14 million who have lacked insurance who will be covered.
Just in the next few years, 26 million Americans will not fear economic ruin, will be able to see a doctor and will be able to live healthier, more productive lives.
Plus, all of us won’t fear being dropped by our insurance company or not getting covered because of a pre-existing condition. All of us will not fear running up against caps for a serious health problem. All of us with children under 26 will have the peace of mind knowing that our policies cover our kids.
We have had around 50 million Americans without healthcare at some point in a given year for a while now. That figure will be cut roughly in half over the next few years.
Is this major reform easy? No. Is it to be accomplished without changes and alterations and negotiations with the states? No. Is it going to happen overnight? No.
That was true about Social Security and it was true about Medicare.
Cries of “socialized medicine,” “government takeover” and “losing our freedoms” were heard over and over from the 1930s to the 1980s. Bogus.
When Medicare was put in place, nearly one in three senior citizens lived in poverty in America. That figure is now less than ten percent.
Will the vast majority of Americans be asking the question “what was all the fuss about?” by election time this year? Maybe not. But my guess is that the more good news continues to build, that will be the common view.
Democrats should hold the Republicans’ feet to the fire and insist that they end their sad crusade to destroy real reform of our healthcare system, reform that truly helps people.
It won’t be long before Republicans won’t want to call this ObamaCare because of their fear that it will give President Obama and the Democrats too much credit.