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Sunday, December 11, 2016

The Affordable Care Act

Republicans have tested the limits of hyperbole in attacking Obamacare. You can’t really top then-Minority Leader John Boehner warning that passage of the Affordable Care Act would be “Armageddon.” Well, we’re still here.

These days, the best the GOP can do is echo soon-to-be-former senator Max Baucus (D-MT), who warned that implementation of the law would be a “train wreck.” While the senator was calling for better education and promotion of the law, Republicans — who cut the budget for that to below the amount spent to educate people about the much-less-complicated Medicare Part D — pretended he was speaking about the law itself.

There’s no doubt that this new system that requires a health care marketplace to be set up in all 50 states will be complex and onerous to put in place — especially with Republicans purposely trying to engineer a disaster. But they’ve set expectations so low that there’s a good chance Obamacare will actually impress, especially in the blue states that are taking advantage of the landmark law.

Since Baucus’ “train wreck” remark, there’s actually a been a lot of good news for taxpayers who want to see the law work. As a result, supporters are becoming optimistic. Maybe even too optimistic. “Predictions that Obamacare will be a big political issue are probably right — but not in the way gleeful conservatives imagined,” writes The New York Times’ Paul Krugman.

Could America’s first near-universal health care system end up being the boon for the Democrats Bill Clinton imagined it would be years ago? The fact is we already pay for each other’s health care — just in the dumbest way possible — and the Affordable Care Act is the first serious attempt to fix that.

Here are five auspicious signs for Obamacare.

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