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December 21, 2014

There’s a Reason Why Obamacare is Working

Michael Tomasky underscores an important point in his piece on Obamacare: It’s not an accident that the law is working.

“Here’s a crazy thought—maybe it’s not just dumb luck that the law seems to be working, especially in the states that took the Medicaid money and set up well-run exchanges. Maybe it’s working because bureaucrats (!) anticipated all the potential problems and planned for them in the writing of the law. Nancy-Ann DeParle, one of the administration’s chief architects of Obamacare, put it this way: ‘… The Affordable Care Act was the product of nearly two decades of bipartisan analysis and discussions among health policy experts and economists to address these problems, and most–indeed, virtually all–of the policies in the law had widespread agreement from these experts.’ In other words, writing this law wasn’t guesswork.”

Tomasky stresses: “On the evidence available to us so far, nearly everything that the more vocal conservative critics have said about the ACA has been wrong. No. “Wrong” implies a statement made in good faith. These charges were often made in the worst possible faith. And they were lies.”

  • bpai99

    The truth had no place in the GOP attacks about Obamacare. All that mattered was attacking its primary sponsor. Things haven’t changed much.

    “I don’t care what it is. If he’s for it, I’m against it.” – US Senator Henry Cabot Lodge (R), speaking of US President Woodrow Wilson (D).

  • http://irwin.wfmu.org/ Irwin Chusid

    So the 60% increase in my monthly premium was “not an accident,” indicates “the law seems to be working,” and proves that “nearly everything that the more vocal conservative critics have said about the ACA has been wrong.” Thanks for clarifying.

    • Harold Underdown

      That’s unfortunate for you–especially if your new plan is identical to the old one–but your experience is not typical. As you probably know.

      • http://irwin.wfmu.org/ Irwin Chusid

        Thanks for your sympathy, Harold. You have mine for your delusional belief that government can run the health care market more efficiently than the private sector. Does your belief apply to all products and services, or just health care?

        • Harold Underdown

          Delusional? I see a lot of healthcare systems around the world, run by governments, that are clearly more efficient than ours. More efficient, to be clear, as in lower costs and better outcomes.

          No, I don’t think that the government can run anything better than the private sector. I also don’t believe that the private sector is always more efficient, because it isn’t. To believe that the private sector does a better job than government is a delusional belief I don’t have.

          • http://irwin.wfmu.org/ Irwin Chusid

            You prefer a health care system run by a massive bureaucracy that has coercive power and the services of the IRS at its disposal. I prefer the options—however imperfect—of a free market that allows some choice in the matter. I don’t trust politicians to “fix” the health care system. You do. I’d call your belief a delusion.

          • moderatesunite

            the old system was not a market, it was a system of monopolies in which,insurers and hospitals each had their own “kingdom” to run, and only occasionally engaged in competition with each other over territory. The individual market in the ACA comes far closer to the idea of a “free market” than the prior system. Sometimes government regulation is necessary to encourage competition rather than let unaccountable monopolies do whatever they please.

        • moderatesunite

          The government is not running healthcare, the ACA is at heart an effort to create a real MARKET for healthcare where only monopolies existed before, even after the ACA is fully implemented the US will still have private insurance companies, private hospitals etc. In fact we will have far more private medical entities than most other industrialized countries (which have lower costs and higher life expectancy)

    • birtelcom

      People of good faith can disagree about ultimate principles. For example, some may believe that even if many people benefit from a national health insurance system, that the sacrifice of some elements of personal choice to achieve that benefit is not worth the tradeoff. That seems to be the heart of the disagreement between Harold and Irwin, above and below. But an argument that is not in good faith is one that seeks to mislead on factual questions, for example if there is a claim that only a few people are benefiting from a program when in fact many people are.

      • http://irwin.wfmu.org/ Irwin Chusid

        Every time you turn over your well-being to the government, you sacrifice your liberty. If they regulate your healthcare, they can make decisions affecting your health and your behavior. You have less choice, because you are forced to obey laws, rather than choose in a free market.

        How about this: everyone who gets an Obamacare subsidy should be compelled by law to exercise regularly and have their dietary habits closely monitored by federal officials. Guidelines should be imposed and enforced. Failure to comply will result in cancellation of subsidy. You good with that?

        • EricFromTheHill

          I’m sure your Freshman English teacher will love your book report on Atlas Shrugged.

          • http://irwin.wfmu.org/ Irwin Chusid

            Sarcasm behind a pseud. Nice.

          • EricFromTheHill

            It’s ironic that in the same post you decry the “sacrifice of liberty” that comes with public health care programs AND call for intrusion into the lives of citizens who qualify for assistance because you happen to not agree with a policy that was passed by a democratically-elected government and validated by the Supreme Court. Aside from glaring Fourth Amendment issues, your post is contradictory and hypocritical.

            You have had hard data and logical arguments presented to counter your claims, and so far the best you are able to come up with are generalist platitudes and vocal disdain for working people (yes, you must have earned income to receive subsidies) who qualify for assistance and are able to exercise choice in an actual marketplace. Weighing your claims against those of Harold, moderatesunite and birtelcom, any neutral observer would say you lost your argument.

          • http://irwin.wfmu.org/ Irwin Chusid

            If you believe I’m calling for “intrusion into the lives of citizens,” Eric, you suffer from irony deficiency. Maybe Obamacare can cover your meds.

          • EricFromTheHill

            “[E]veryone who gets an Obamacare subsidy should be compelled by law to exercise regularly and have their dietary habits closely monitored by federal officials.”

            Enlighten me. What would you call it? Why resort to personal attacks, something you’ve made a habit of on this thread, unless you’re running out of options? Sounds like you just can’t stop with them.

          • http://irwin.wfmu.org/ Irwin Chusid

            Q.E.D.

    • moderatesunite

      average increase in premium costs this year is 8%, compared to an average premium increase of 10%+ prior to the passage of ACA. So on average the ACA is helping to reduce the rate of increase(the smallest increases and in some cases decreases are in blue states with more insurer’s participating creating a more competitive MARKET, while the biggest increases are in red states actively resisting the program by refusing federal money, subsidies etc.

      If your insurance company is some extreme outlier that has actually actually decided to raise your premium that much in a single year then that sucks, but your experience is not that of most and you should look at other insurance options. More likely though you are using some funny math combining many years of premium increases, stating a number from when you moved from a old not as good plan, to a new better plan, or just making something up.

      whatever the real reason your posting such a high number is wish you the best

      • OcalaCakeLady

        OMG! I’m in the healthcare field and I’m telling you it’s NOT WORKING! Those that think so are dilusional.

        • moderatesunite

          name something specific that is “not working” and be careful to make sure it is something that occurred after the bill was passed.

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