Saturday, April 19, 2014

Obamacare Is Working. Is Saying It Isn't Good Politics?

Barack Obama is, generally, a happy man. Have you noticed that?

A reason to be happy is that the PPACA, aka Obamacare, is working. In fact, it's working in just about all the ways one could hope a plan like it would work. (I wanted single-payer, but it wasn't going to happen in an "exceptional country" like the U.S.A.)
Conservatives were sure at every turn that Obamacare would fail, but as the numbers roll in, those convictions are looking increasingly ideological.

First they said nobody would enroll. Then they said first-year premiums would be through the roof. And later, they warned of a "death spiral," wherein premiums would go up uncontrollably. My colleague Sam Baker has written an excellent analysis of the situation, the upshot of which is that Obamacare is on a winning streak.
The next great frontier of conservative hyperbole concerns premiums for 2015, with critics warning that costs will double or even triple next year.
As of this week, we have good evidence to the contrary. Health insurance premium rates are expected go up just 7 percent—a rate of increase much lower than what critics were predicting. And the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office is predicting that premium hikes will be relatively modest.
None of this is surprising to rational people, aka people who don't watch Fox News. What troubles me -- and those who just want good outcomes for their fellow citizens -- is that the GOP and its propaganda machine at Fox will hang on tooth and nail to the "obamacare is killing kids, mothers, and seniors," in spite of the fact that none of the bad things and most of the good things are happening as the rollout of the healthcare system known as Obamacare proceeds.

Hopefully, the country will outlive the GOP noise machine's attempt to lie all the way to the 2014 elections. It just might work, and that's depressing.

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