Monday, February 3, 2014

A Healthy Display of Anger

This past week, President Obama gave his State of the Union Address, and, as is typical, the opposition party gave its rebuttals. With the Benghazi noise quieted, and the Birther movement marginalized, the Conservatives in the U.S. have continued to pound the drum of anti-Obamacare rhetoric, trying to use people's distrust of government (but not, oddly, big business) as a way to gain more seats in Congress.

In the Republican rebuttal, it was claimed that the Affordable Care Act - Obamacare - is failing, and that people are suffering as a result. Economist Paul Krugman notes that, despite a rough roll-out, the program is chugging along and millions of people are signing up through the Health Care exchange. The staple of political rhetoric, the anecdote, was used to try and illustrate the supposed negative results of the ACA. As Salon's Brian Beutler points out, however, Bette in Spokane saw her plan's premium increase $700 per month because she refused to visit the ACA website, falling for the lies and tropes being spread by the Republican party. Had she actually gone on the website, she could have found a much cheaper plan with better coverage. However, I imagine she comes from the world of "Obama is gonna take my guns and make me gay marry," so she suffers as a result of her delusions.

I have my own anecdote. As an unemployed American getting very few dollars in unemployment, I could not afford COBRA coverage. My experience using the Obamacare website was not that great, taking longer than it should have and requiring me to come back at another time to finish enrollment. However, last month, I received my health insurance card in the mail. Thanks to Obamacare, I now have health insurance again. A friend on Facebook wrote this on January 3: "I've never been so relieved to get a bill. After being without health Insurance since the end of June and having been denied coverage by 3 insurers because of my wrist I finally have health insurance again. Thank you Obamacare!"

Personally, I would have preferred to see a single payer option as part of the Affordable Care Act. I know the act isn't perfect, and both people on the right and the left can offer criticisms. Nevertheless, walk away from here knowing that real people now have real coverage, and as that was the primary goal of the Affordable Care Act, it is a resounding success.


Gorilla Bananas said...

All I know about this is what I've heard from American bloggers, and opinions diverge sharply. According to Herman Turnipp, who says he's an independent, Obama was not being honest when he said:

"First of all, if you’ve got health insurance, you like your doctors, you like your plan, you can keep your doctor, you can keep your plan. Nobody is talking about taking that away from you."

I'm glad to hear it's working for you and others who would have been without health insurance.

ChrisV82 said...

That has been a topic of discussion, but the vast majority of people were able to keep their plans; those who weren't had such horrible coverage that those plans were eliminated the the Act. Read more, if you like -