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Saturday, December 10, 2016

Bad news for CLNN: the Chicken Little News Network (that is, just about all of them lately). In states that have set up their own Affordable Care Act marketplaces, enrollment is proceeding apace. Indeed, media melodrama about “Obama’s Katrina” and similar formulations appears paradoxically to have reminded people that dependable health insurance is at last available to them and their families.

Not only doesn’t the political sky seem to be falling, but according to the Los Angeles Timessignups in California during the first two weeks of November doubled those for the month of October. Several other states are also showing strong enrollment growth. The governors of Washington, Connecticut and Kentucky co-signed a Washington Post column about how they’re making the law work.

The indispensible Kevin Drum draws a preliminary conclusion: “It really is all about the website…The bottom line is the Republican Party’s worst nightmare: Once Obamacare has been up and running for a while, it’s going to be pretty popular.

“Just get the damn website working.”

A commenter to Drum’s blog waxes enthusiastic: “California Obamacare is 20 kinds of awesome. It took 45 minutes to sign up and it will save me between $6,000 and $11,000 PER YEAR depending on whether I have to go to the doctor. And now if I want to switch jobs or be self-employed I don’t have to worry about pre-existing BS conditions that they’ve turned me down for in the past even though I’ve never had a serious disease or been hospitalized. Don’t drink, don’t smoke, not overweight … my pre-existing crime against humanity? Over 50. If you were over 50 in the pre-ACA days, it was next to impossible to get a policy.”

A plant? Could be. Trolls are everywhere on the Internet. The fellow could be a Democratic operative typing an approved script.

However, it’s definitely true that the Affordable Care Act makes it possible to buy health insurance without first proving that you probably won’t need it. Also vanishing is the concept of “rescission,” where, say, a breast cancer diagnosis can trigger an investigation aimed at voiding your policy.

The portability of coverage under the ACA is also going to give people enhanced economic liberty Republicans always say people should have—although what they usually mean in practice is absolute freedom for corporations while you keep quietly doing as you’re told.

Lost your job? Well, you haven’t lost your health care.

Of course Republican trolls are everywhere too. Maybe the most amusing thing about the Washington media hullaballoo over the president’s Big Lie was how it reprised George W. Bush’s greatest hits. Was the health care debacle “Obama’s Katrina,” “Obama’s ‘Mission Accomplished,’” or “Obama’s Iraq?”

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