Smart. Sharp. Funny. Fearless.
Friday, December 2, 2016

WASHINGTON — The Affordable Care Act was supposed to be a slam-dunk issue for the Republicans in this fall’s elections. Karl Rove told us so in April, writing that “Obamacare is and will remain a political problem for Democrats.”

So how’s that Obamacare thing working out for the GOP?

The most significant bit of election news over the last week was the decision of Senator Mark Pryor, the embattled Arkansas Democrat, to run an ad touting his vote for the health care law as a positive for the people of his increasingly Republican state.

Pryor’s ad is so soft and personal that it’s almost apolitical. After his dad, the popular former senator David Pryor, tells of his son’s bout with cancer, he notes that “Mark’s insurance company didn’t want to pay for the treatment that ultimately saved his life.” The picture has widened to show Mark Pryor sitting next to his father. “No one should be fighting an insurance company while you’re fighting for your life,” he says. “That’s why I helped pass a law that prevents insurance companies from canceling your policy if you get sick, or deny coverage for pre-existing conditions.”

Who knew a law that critics claim is so dreadful could provide such powerful reassurance to Americans who are ill?

Democrats have never fully recovered from the Obama administration’s lousy sales job for (and botched rollout of) what is, legitimately, its proudest domestic achievement. That’s one reason Pryor doesn’t use the word “Obamacare” in describing what he voted for. Another is that in many of the states with contested Senate races this year, most definitely including Arkansas, President Obama himself is so unpopular that if you attached his name to Social Security, one of the most popular programs in American history would probably drop 20 points in the polls.

So, as the liberal bloggers Greg Sargent, Brian Beutler and Steve Benen have all noted, Republicans would much prefer to run against the law’s name and brand than the law itself. They also really want to avoid being pressed for specifics as to what “repealing Obamacare” would mean in practice.

As one Democratic pollster told me, his focus groups showed that when voters outside the Republican base are given details about what the law does and how it works, “people come around and say, ‘That’s not so bad, what’s everybody excited about?'”

This consultant says of Democrats who voted for the law: “You’re going to be stuck with all the bad about this but not benefit from any of the good unless you advertise” what the Affordable Care Act does. This is what Pryor has decided to do.

In fact, according to Gallup, Arkansas is the No. 1 state in the country when it comes to reducing the proportion of its uninsured since the main provisions of the ACA took effect. The drop was from 22.5 percent in 2013 to 12.4 percent in 2014. The No. 2 state is Kentucky, where the uninsured rate fell from 20.4 percent to 11.9 percent. What they have in common are Democratic governors, Mike Beebe in Arkansas and Steve Beshear in Kentucky, committed to using Obamacare — especially, albeit in different ways, its Medicaid expansion — to help their citizens who lack coverage. Beshear has been passionate in selling his state’s version of Obamacare, which is called kynect.

Kentucky also happens to be the site of another of this year’s key Senate races. Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes is giving Republican leader Mitch McConnell what looks to be the toughest re-election challenge of his 30-year Senate career.

The Bluegrass State is particularly instructive on the importance of labeling and branding. A Public Policy Polling survey earlier this month found that the Affordable Care Act had a net negative approval rating, 34 percent to 51 percent. But kynect was rated positively, 34 percent to 27 percent. Grimes and the Democrats need to confront McConnell forcefully on the issue he has tried to fudge: A flat repeal of Obamacare would mean taking insurance away from the more than 521,000 Kentuckians who, as of last Friday, had secured coverage through kynect. How would that sit with the state’s voters?

Election results, like scripture, can be interpreted in a variety of ways. You can bet that foes of expanding health insurance coverage will try to interpret every Republican victory as a defeat for Obamacare. But as Mark Pryor knows, the president’s unpopularity in certain parts of the country doesn’t mean that voters want to throw his greatest accomplishment overboard — even if they’d be happy to rename it.

E.J. Dionne’s email address is [email protected] Twitter: @EJDionne.

Screenshot: Mark Pryor/YouTube

Want more political news and analysis? Sign up for our daily email newsletter!

100 Responses to Obamacare, Beyond The Label

  1. The fact that we are still debating this issue, and that so many Americans still view Obamacare negatively, is a testament to the power of disinformation. Like most government programs, the ACA is far from perfect, but the benefits and impact it had on the well being of the uninsured, under insured, people with pre-existing conditions, college students and dependent children up to age 26, those considering retirement but not yet eligible for MEDICARE, and cost containment, are undeniable.
    Unfortunately, the pathetic sales job done by the administration, the problems associated with the roll out of a major Federal government program, and a very effective and well financed demonization campaign managed to transform something we should all support into a monstrous government program.

    • I agree. The Democrats and Independents should be making lots of videos showing those who have benefited from the ACA and why. If the Republicans want to counter with their own ads showing those who oppose the ACA so be it but they must also tell why they oppose it in the video. I think they would have a hard time giving good reasons, but that is only my opinion.

  2. The right wing media has planted the seeds of the fall of our country with their disinformation campaign. There are a large number of people that the government is coming for them to take their rights. No one calls them out on this.

  3. When you consider at this very moment, Mitch McConnell, the biggest swaggering, drawling trough feeder of federal tax funds is waging his own personal Civil War against this president, it’s kind of amusing to watch Ole Fuss and Feathers lather up against a president who has the most amazing powers of detachment from dead wood.

    The reality is that Mitch McConnell has led the charge to bash ANY healthcare reform. All anyone has to do is to take a look at the army of HMOs who support his campaign. Smell the stink of HMO CEO influence yet?

    The reality is that the 17 Confederate states don’t like paying for their own healthcare insurance. They much prefer running to the ER for the sniffles and then dump that cost onto anyone else in this country.

    • Yeah but! What proponents of ACA need to inform these confederate states is that ACA can save the state real bucks if they will get behind even the Medicaid expansion portion of the law. See some of these statistics from the Red State of Arizona that went ahead with expanding Medicaid (it’s saving the state big dollars):

      Arizona hospitals already reaping benefit of Medicaid expansion

      (Some excerpts):

      Gov. Jan Brewer’s decision to harangue her Republican legislature to accept Medicaid expansion is paying off for the whole state of Arizona, but especially its hospitals. A new report from the Arizona Hospital and Healthcare Association says that uncompensated care has been reduced 31 percent in the last four months compared to the same period last year.

      That’s money that the state doesn’t have to try to come up with to reimburse hospitals to help keep them afloat. The business school at Arizona State University estimated that the expansion would bring more than 15,000 jobs to the state by 2016, increase state revenues by over $2.8 billion in the next three years and increase personal disposable income by more than $1.6 billion. The decline in uncompensated care is just a drop in the bucket for what Medicaid expansion is likely to do for Arizona.

      http://www.dailykos.com/story/2014/07/09/1312845/-Arizona-hospitals-already-reaping-benefit-of-Medicaid-nbsp-expansion?detail=email

      • While I certainly agree and applaud your post, the culture of the Confederacy has always been related to “class,” rather than society as a whole.

        The 3-step class of people in red states promotes the idea that the lowest classes of people should be looked upon as leeches of the earth. Then, the white trash act as if they are somehow “superior” even though they lack the commonality of education and intelligence to get ahead.

        The third step of the red state class system is the guy at the top, who is to be adored and loved for his beneficence to those “beneath” him/her. In reality, this class is best at throwing scraps to white trash and kicking the lowest classes to the curb only after they work them harder, longer, for less and to death.

        And, what’s worse, thanks to their “ignernce,” people in this culture call themselves “conservatives.” Well sure..when two classes live on scraps their entire lives, why not?

        Obviously, anyone who confronts them with their misguided beliefs using facts, is immediately labeled a liberal or socialist.

        These slaves of misguided ideology miss the most important point …their lives won’t change unless they do something about it.

        • Yup!! And the sad part of all this, is that those 3rd step guys are really as “ignerent” as the lowest class peons in red states. In fact, it’s these 3rd step guys that are the classic examples of STUPID!! They didn’t get to be 3rd step guys because they’re smart they got there because they were the biggest bullies of the flock.

          The point I was trying to make is, that those 3rd step ignerents are depriving people of healthcare because they’re totally missing the fact that by doing so, they’re actually turning away money that they could have been stuffing into their pockets. We know that ‘money’ is the golden calf for those 3rd step ignerents, yet like the idiots they are, they’re intentionally missing out on an opportunity to gobble up more of that golden calf. The less of a drain that healthcare is on a state’s budget, the more free money for the politicians to pocket in red states.

    • You’re right Eleanore, McConnell is forever stuck in 1863 and favors corporate profit over the quality of life of his fellow human being. It’s quite clear to me from this single issue alone. The ‘current’ GOP is wholly corrupt. Health care is a basic human need. Even for those with perfect health – one day, they will need to see a doctor. Illness doesn’t discriminate, as to the political leanings of whom it strikes. Every horrific warning they’ve steadfastly prophesied about ACA, has failed to materialize – even with every attempt to sabotage it. Lets remember something pertinent about the problematic roll out experienced by many. The servers crashed often but, this was the fault of the “company” hired to create and implement the ‘web site’. This for profit agency proved feeble in stabilizing the situation, so the government brought in hand picked advisors to fix the problems. Also, the primary issue causing the site failures, was from ‘too much interest in ACA’. If the GOP will govern soley on the basis of lies and blistering propaganda to the citizen’s whom comprise their own base – it is evident they are completely without a moral compass.

      • The real joke is that when taxpayers give corporations an inch, they take a yard. They simply do not know when enough is enough.

        I worked in the 80s in 2 very large Fortune 50 international companies. I know for a fact that these incursions are not really about US corporate taxes. Why? When I visited Canada in 2000, I saw the huge cost of things in the most ultra conservative province in that country…Alberta. A pizza in 2000 was $18. In the US? It was barely $10. To get into any of the provincial parks, patrons lay out admission fees.

        But wait…it gets better. Overseas businesses are taxed ..as in Sweden and most of Europe at 30% higher than citizens. So, what’s wrong with our US picture? Two words..Wall Street.

        These big money men have been playing so fast and so loose on Wall Street, they see the handwriting on the wall street wall all too clearly: CRASH.

        The cost in those 2 companies I worked for just to ship things to foreign countries included VAT tax and other importation fees.

        Notice that Halliburton was the first to move its headquarters offshore. The rank odor of tax evasion isn’t the only reason they are moving offshore. Most of these corporations have been using such shady deals.

        It IS now and always has been the right of our government which collectively comprises all American citizens to be protected from Big Business thieves. This is why they are leaving.

  4. Thank goodness we have a President who cares about the people enough to want to give us all health care, in spite of all the opposition from the tbagger/Rs trying to keep us sick and hope we die quickly. Thank you, Mr. President.

    ..

    • IF Obama cared about you he wouldn’t have needed to LIE to you and everyone about the true costs and problems of Obamacare. Did you think you would get “something for nothing?” Obama cares about power & Socialism, which will not benefit you, at least not in the long run. You will lose the little freedom you have left!

        • Blueberry Hill ..Why don’t u get your head out of Barry Soetoro (a.k.a. Obama.) a33. The Illegal / Muslim Brotherhood doesn’t give a Dam about u or any. other American. He out to F _ _ K us over anyway that he can. Shame on you for sticking up for the S.O.B. of a lier.

          • Why don’t you bigoted goobers ever wash yourself before you waddle out in public and flap your gums? Ever heard of soap in your trailer park? Hint: It’s not that far from the beer aisle, so you should be able to find it.

          • For all of you that like. the Illegal in Our W.H. ..shame on you..now go bk and study History… he should remind you of HITLER.
            While your at it ck out Michael LaVaugh Robinson a.k.a. Michelle Obama. We have the 1st Gay couple in OUR W. H.

          • As you know by now, game50, I am adopting a rule to never argue with stupid people. Your comment qualifies you for a pass.

          • You are one sick individual Can You Read or are you JUST STUPID. This is what Hitler accomplished

            Here in the U.S. we have had many mass murderers, such as Charles Manson, We say
            that anyone that kills a few people “must be insane.” Then what is the sanity of
            a man who kills over 11 million, including 6 million Jews. What kind of man
            would issue an order to kill all children with any type of mental or physical
            problem such as a deformity. What kind of man would murder 5,000 of his own
            people, and kill anyone who was opposed to him. Including thousands of
            homosexuals and the poor who needed help. Consider that Hitler was the master of
            death as the world has never known, responsible for killing more people than any
            human since the earth began. This man was Adolf Hitler, and you must admit he
            was totally insane

          • game50 is probably from a backward part of the country where he or she never was exposed with a diversity of ideas.

          • That’s a good argument game50, calling the President all sorts of names and implying all sorts of evil things he does. The discussion is over the ACA/Obamacare. Go back to you basement hovel you troll.

          • Did you have some kind of accident when you were young, you know, maybe falling on your head or being kidnapped by aliens? You constantly talk like someone who’s IQ is 100 points below stupid.

          • YOU CAN’T PROVE HE IS A MUSLIM TO BAD RACISM IS NOT CONSIDERED A MENTAL ILLNESSS
            BECAUSE YOU CERTAINLY ARE DERANGED AND DISTURBED

          • You, and your ilk, are why I, as an antipolitical person, will vote Democrat from now on. You don’t have any valid arguments, just canned rhetoric than means nothing but hate.

          • game50 the cretin and half-wit that you are why not print some
            facts or documentation of your ranrs of xenophobic, jingoist attitude.

        • Yes you hate socialism for the people but seem to be all for corporate welfare since that is what Republicans are for.

      • Just what is socialist about the ACA? Run by private companies. Also why does the right wing have to lie about it. Just where are the death panel they promised me. What happened to all those jobs that were going to be lost? What freedoms have you lost? The truth will set you free!

        • Those that throw around such terms are, I was going to say “uninformed” but I think I’m just going with the unvarnished truth and say “stupid”.

          Don’t argue with stupid people. It’s like wrestling with pigs: everyone ends up smeared in mud, and the pig likes it.

        • Oh, bobnstuff, those death panels still exist. They are just waiting in the wings for ACA to be revoked and the insurance companies allowed free reign to reinstate their death panels they had before ACA.

          • No, he is not. Many insurances had a cap on what they would pay and when someone, with a disease like cancer reached that cap, they were dropped and left to die. That is a death panel. Denying people wit pre-existing conditions is a death panel.

      • I don’t know how old you, but I guess you will be foregoing Medicare. After all, you are free to buy your own policy for thousand s of dollars a year.

      • President Obama did not lie to anyone about the “true costs” of Obamacare. The fact that forecasts are often wrong does not constitute a lie. He did not lie about the ACA problems either. He said what he believed, not knowing that irresponsible Republicans were getting substandard insurance policies and relied on Emergency Room care every time they got sick. Making affordable healthcare, including preventive medical care, available to those who did not have coverage before, or who need it for a variety of reasons, is an evil concept acceptable only to those who hate it because they hate the man that proposed it and signed it, or because they have it all and could care less what happens to the 47% who, according to them, do not deserve services that ought to be available to every human being.
        You may want to read the Karl Marx manifesto to get a better understanding of what socialism is all about, or you risk making a fool of yourself by using hyperbole that even the most radical zealots no longer use. A program that uses private practice professionals, for profit hospitals and labs, and for profit insurance companies to administer it, is the anti-thesis of socialism.

        • Part of the reason for some of the snag, in the initiation of the ACA , is due to states not adopting the expanded Medicaid portion. My state is one. If both parties and all people in power had worked together it would be working better than it is.

          • Another reason involve the technical and security complexities associated with having to verify things like citizenship and income to be eligible to participate in the ACA and determine the amount of subsidies.
            Like so many other things, Republicans try to give the impression that the problems encountered with the roll out of the ACA were unprecedented. They were not. I spent 40 years working at NASA and I don’t recall a single major system that they not require last minute corrections or changes.

      • The President didn’t lie; he made mistakes and apologized for them. When was the last time you heard a Republican apologize (I’m still waiting to hear Bush & Cheney apologize for the fake war they started in Iraq). And you’re full of baloney about the President being a socialist. He’s a centrist who fights for everyone’s freedom…unlike the GOP/Tea Party who think only the rich and powerful should run this country.

      • Pauly, Bobnstuff asked you about all the jobs that were supposed to be lost..where’s your answer to that??? Cat got your tongue because it was all a lie??? Yup!! Sure was, see this excerpt from an article about how ACA is helping the red state of Arizona where they project ACA WILL ADD, 15,000 jobs over the next couple of years:

        Arizona hospitals already reaping benefit of Medicaid expansion

        That’s money that the state doesn’t have to try to come up with to reimburse hospitals to help keep them afloat. The business school at Arizona State University estimated that the expansion would bring more than 15,000 jobs to the state by 2016, increase state revenues by over $2.8 billion in the next three years and increase personal disposable income by more than $1.6 billion. The decline in uncompensated care is just a drop in the bucket for what Medicaid expansion is likely to do for Arizona.

        http://www.dailykos.com/story/2014/07/09/1312845/-Arizona-hospitals-already-reaping-benefit-of-Medicaid-nbsp-expansion?detail=email

      • Tell me Pauly, in being a Republican, do you also claim to be a Christian?? If so, are you aware that the way God would really like to see mankind live is akin to communism?? If you think I’m wrong about that, try opening your bible to Acts 2 and 4 and reading some verses there.

        If these verses from Acts 4 don’t sound like the Holy Spirit led the people into a style of living like communism try telling me what else it sounds like (would communism be preferable to socialism?):

        31 After they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly.

        The Believers Share Their Possessions

        32 All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of their possessions was their own, but they shared everything they had. 33 With great power the apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And God’s gracewas so powerfully at work in them all 34 that there were no needy persons among them. For from time to time those who owned land or houses sold them, brought the money from the sales 35 and put it at the apostles’ feet, and it was distributed to anyone who had need.

          • This is just one thing that galls me about the Evangelicals and other main stream religions that support the GOP. Not only do they gloss over the enormous sin of the GOP’s right in your face love of money, these churches also turn a blind eye and ear to the GOP’s obvious “I’ve got Mine, You get yours”, when the bible couldn’t be more clear on its ‘think of others more than yourself’ message. How can these supposed fake Christian leaders live with themselves??? When they’re clearly leading millions upon millions of people in America into damnation??? Telling them even from their pulpits, vote for this politician and that politician who’s belongs to the party of the Devil!!!

          • My dream is to be behind them at the gate so I can see the look on their faces when they are turned away.

      • From your many posts about ACA, paulyz, I gather that you think the people in the US are the dumbest people alive. Well, you may be right judging by the Republicans in office but I still feel that we should be able to pick the brains of all those brilliant foreigners who are able to give their entire populace health care and thereby have longer life spans while spending far less per person on health care than the US did in 2008 & 9 with our millions of citizens unable to afford health care. The only country that came close to spending as much per capita on health care was Switzerland (75% as much) and that was probably due to their system depending upon insurance companies.

  5. There isn’t any dis-information, many Democrats are running away from Obamacare & don’t even want to be seen with him. They know that Americans are upset because they have been LIED to many time about the costs of Obamacare so Obama could ram it through. If they were so happy with Obamacare, why did they have to lie & misrepresent it to the American People. There lies the mis-information!
    Also the fact that Obama took $716 BILLION from Medicare & raised taxes $500 BILLION “for” Obamacare, that will have more cost increases soon!

      • Not only that, but the insurance you now have can’t be canceled by your insurer, and you can’t be denied treatment because of a pre-existing condition. In short, you’ve saved a lot more than the 30% in direct costs.

    • paulyz old girl, the president is black. Always been black, will continue to be black. I know, sticks in your KKK craw, doesn’t it. You make me laugh. You are so predictable. Now go clean those bedsheets so they can be used for bedding.

    • Yes he cut the cost of medicare and put it back into medicare to fix the hole. Repelling the ACA will increase the deficit. Plus the ACA is improving the health of the country. Turn off you AM radio and get some facts. The people that are getting upset are being told they have been lied to by people who want them upset and will say anything. Check real facts. The truth will set you free.

    • Stop repeating the lies you were told and check the facts. From the beginning, Pres. Obama said some people would pay more but their policies would be better, and this has happened. Many pay less; but the basic point of this law was to get the people denied insurance coverage (15% of our population). Why can’t you nay-sayers understand that covering the 15% will reduce costs for all of us?

  6. It is so sad to see in the greatest nation on earth still there are some who are not aware what essential needs anyone living must have. It is all about: education, shelter, food, healthcare and money to meet other requirements though one can survive without having them. Most of countries that are above developing countries level know this. Once one misses one of these essential requirements, there is no way life can be easy. It was good to hear from Ted Cruz (though to my opinion I take him as a crazy person after shutting down the government). He repeated many times that once people receive ACA, there is no way anyone can grab it from them. He was and still fully aware that people really need this special requirement. Thanks to Pres. Obama who put this issue as his first priority in his Presidency. The man is so thoughtful and he deserves a credit on this.

    • I think some take the “right to life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness” to mean that you are living right now so you already got the “life” part, they have the liberty to ignore your desire to continue living, and by doing so they are pursuing their own happiness.

  7. I am battling cancer, right now. I have single payer – Medicare and a good supplement. I often think about those people who do not. What do they do? Prior is right: a person shouldn’t have to be battling the insurance companies and cancer at the same time.

      • I’m so sorry to see that you lost your sister to cancer because she was uninsured. That should happen to no one in this once great country. Hope we can get things turned around in November and get the stupids out of our government. Take care.

        ..

      • Then you know very well, why I think everyone should have single payer insurance. Health should not be for the very rich, but everyone. I lost my father and all three of my brothers with cancer.

    • I hope you’re winning that fight idamag. I’ve been reading your posts for the last 2 1/2 years and almost feel like I know you. Let us know how it’s going.

      • Thank you. The doctor says I have a good attitude and that goes a long way in recovery. I still wish everyone had the same insurance.

  8. The problem with addressing the unpopularity of The ACA is that a portion of those against it want to go back to what we had before and a portion thinks the ACA should have gone further to single payer medicare for all. Asking who is against the ACA without finding out which side they are on does little to help understand the question.

  9. The odd thing about the southern conservatives is their “sense of entitlement” to dump their healthcare costs on the rest of us. They act as if we have suddenly become rebels who have no right to reduce the burden they are placing on us.

    And let’s be honest here. The Great White Southern Plantation Male mentalities bathe in superiority and supremacy. They know the minute the 85% women now in the workplace get the worst of the costs. This is just the McConnellian Siege to insure women “keep their place.” Usually, always in debt, running households on one income and trying to stay off welfare any way they can to avoid disgracing their kids. All while McConnellian Regime works its magic to stack cards against the US’s most vulnerable.

    • Right on, you have it nailed. They think they are so entitled, but want to deny us health insurance, for crying out loud, we pay it ourselves, so what’s it to them? If they don’t like it, they can face the alternative to having health care; and it isn’t pretty.

      ..

    • Conservative policies as a whole assure the rich remain rich and the poor remain poor and the average stays average

  10. Here is some true facts. I am old enough for Medicare but my wife is only 61 and has MS. Before the ACA/Obamacare, the cheapest policy I could get for her was over $1500 a month and that was with a rider excluding any MS connected illness she had. Also we could at any time face having her policy cancelled. Now I only pay $505.58 for her silver policy a month and we know she can’t be cancelled. I get no help from the government for paying the premium. The only thing that could have been better was to enact a single payer system but President Obama knew that wouldn’t stand a chance. All I can say is thank God for ACA. I have many relatives in Canada and they admit there are some problems with their national health care system but when asked if they wanted what we have they all say they will keep theirs.

  11. CANADS HAS FREE HEALTH CARE AND HAS HAD IT FOR YEARS WITH NO PROBLEMS. HOSPITALS HAVE BEEN CLOSING ALL OVER AMERICA FOR MORE THAN 10 YEARS. TRAUMA CARE UNITS HAVE ALMOST DRIED UP. WHAT IN HADES IS WRONG WITH PEOPLE. CEASE MAKING THIS A POLITICAL ISSUE . DO YOUR RESEARCH THIS (HEALTHCARE) IS GOOD FOR US ALL.

      • Yes, TZToronto, but you of all people know how terrifying those Canadian socialists are! Why, it must be hard to walk in the street without fear, or protest without the certainty of armed paramilitary troops pointing automatic weapons at you, or to report the news from a public place without fear of being arrested, or to be able to see a doctor when you get seriously ill without fear of bankrupting your family for the next couple of generations…

        Yes, Canadian socialists sure make us freedom loving, all men created equal, flag waving true Americans look righteous, don’t they.

        • I try to stick to the back streets to avoid the socialist, placard-waving, paramilitary folks. . . . Seriously, if it weren’t for the Canadian health care system, I’d be broke. It’s great to get first-class medical treatment when you need it without seeing a bill for services.

          Now, if young people in the U.S. can be convinced to sign up for health insurance, the ACA system will start looking like it’s supposed to look–better overall health and lower premiums for everyone. But those backwards, hateful folks in the red states (not all are backwards and hateful, I’m sure) are still trying hard to make President Obama a one-term President. I think that boat’s sailed already.

          • I hear you Toronto. My wife has become disabled in the last 5 years and spent 7 months in hospital last year getting spinal surgery, knee replacement, and physiotherapy done. We had been healthy all of our lives and had precious little experience with the Canadian health care system except for the odd minor thing. I was simply amazed.

            Besides the terrific hospital care, they sent her home with a free state of the art wheelchair and showed up at our house to deliver a commode, a walker, a motorized medical bed, and a few other medical devices…all no cost. They even offered free home care services too which I gratefully declined. I figured I’d be the home care worker and free up someone for others. I had no idea our system did the latter like that. From start to finish, none of this cost us anything except the taxes that we pay of course. It was all free. No out-of-pocket, no co-pays, no monthly health care premium. It’s kind of a miracle when you think about it. We take it for granted but we shouldn’t. I don’t even want to imagine what this must have cost, even if everything medical related costs less in Canada. Still. Something for our Republican readers to think about.

            The ACA is a definite improvement over what was and I have nothing but praise for President Obama for what he accomplished. I’m really interested though in Vermont’s government single payer system that’s slated to kick off in 2-3 years. The sketchy details that I’ve heard so far about it sounds just like our system or the British NHS. Meet the Press had a segment on it a few weeks back. Some Vermont officials said they wanted their state to be “the Saskatchewan of America”—in reference to being both the first 100% single payer state, and a spread of the single payer system to other states. They actually used that phrase which I thought was kind of neat.

    • And it’s not just good for ‘us’, it’s good for our hospitals and other healthcare providers and even for the states that have been willing to go with it. Here’s just some excerpts from a couple of articles on that:

      Obamacare winner: Safety Net Hospitals

      At Seattle’s largest safety-net hospital, the proportion of uninsured patients fell from 12% last year to an unprecedented low of 2% this spring — a drop expected to boost Harborview Medical Center’s revenue by $20 million this year. The share of uninsured patients was cut roughly in half this year at two other major safety net hospitals — Denver Health in Colorado and the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences Hospital (UAMS) in Little Rock.

      One of the biggest beneficiaries of the health law’s expansion of coverage to more than 13 million people this year has been the nation’s safety-net hospitals, which treat a disproportionate share of poor and uninsured people and therefore face billions of dollars in unpaid bills.

      http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2014/05/24/obamacare-safety-net-hospitals-uninsured/9456671/

      Arizona hospitals already reaping benefit of Medicaid expansion

      Gov. Jan Brewer’s decision to harangue her Republican legislature to accept Medicaid expansion is paying off for the whole state of Arizona, but especially its hospitals. A new report from the Arizona Hospital and Healthcare Association says that uncompensated care has been reduced 31 percent in the last four months compared to the same period last year.

      That’s money that the state doesn’t have to try to come up with to reimburse hospitals to help keep them afloat. The business school at Arizona State University estimated that the expansion would bring more than 15,000 jobs to the state by 2016, increase state revenues by over $2.8 billion in the next three years and increase personal disposable income by more than $1.6 billion. The decline in uncompensated care is just a drop in the bucket for what Medicaid expansion is likely to do for Arizona.

      http://www.dailykos.com/story/2014/07/09/1312845/-Arizona-hospitals-already-reaping-benefit-of-Medicaid-nbsp-expansion?detail=email

  12. CANADA HAS FREE HEALTH CARE AND HAS HAD IT FOR YEARS WITH NO PROBLEMS. HOSPITALS HAVE BEEN CLOSING ALL OVER AMERICA FOR MORE THAN 10 YEARS. TRAUMA CARE UNITS HAVE ALMOST DRIED UP. WHAT IN HADES IS WRONG WITH PEOPLE. CEASE MAKING THIS A POLITICAL ISSUE . DO YOUR RESEARCH THIS (HEALTHCARE) IS GOOD FOR US ALL.

    • No problems, unless you need surgery that will save your life. Then you have options. Either wait for a surgeon trained in your surgery, or have it done in a timely manner by a gynecologist that is not trained.

      • Any ER trauma surgeons that can’t perform the kind of specific surgery that will save your life, without “a surgeon trained in your surgery”, will necessitate the arrival of that highly specially trained surgeon anywhere on earth, including the United States.

        In 1980, my life was saved by Canadian ER surgeons. You have no idea what you’re talking about, and you never do.

  13. If the Republicans had any brains, they would have embraced ACA as a conservative legislative victory. Instead the Democrats and President Obama, took this right-wing, ‘free market law’ and made the GOP choke on it. What is most disturbing is how the Republicans have shown utter disregard for fellow countrymen, for what should be a basic right, in having access to affordable health care. It is outrageous, shameful and inhumane.

  14. Sure would like to know where paulz gets his news? Any takers? The GOP rants against health insurance is ridiculous and a losing argument! Imagine, “no health insutance for the poor” doesnt sound appealing to me.

  15. Republicans made the biggest mistake by not taking credit for their program. Before it was Obamacare it was Romney care and that was a republican centerpiece of how to modify health care and still keep insurance companies who earned a profit. They allowed people who had a personal vendetta against Obama for being the 1st black President and they weren’t going to let him get away with success. This is why the march against Obama care was first led by southern republicans. When in doubt fall back on the racist tendencies of the region.
    So now while people don’t like the ACA they have insurance for the 1st time in a long time and are not giving it up so fast. This was where the mistake was made. Lost in the fury of complete repeal rhetoric the GOP left themselves no out. It was repeal or nothing. Then it became repeal and replace but oops where was the plan? they tried to float up something in the Senate but it was shot down so fast it was back to the drawing boards.
    So if the Democratic will stop running away for a while and look, they need to charge back and make the republicans show the river card. Ok Dr No what’s the plan after you take control and repeal the ACA? Tell the voters how you are going to change healthcare. This is what every democrat has to do now if they want to win. Stop running away and make a stand!!!

  16. Game50.. what reminds me of hitler is any and every republican that keeps their minnions in a state of fear, resentment, and insecurity. That be you!

Leave a reply