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Guest Commentary: The continuing success of the ACA

Fri, Aug 8th, 2014
Posted in Chatfield Commentary

By Herb Panko, Chatfield, MN

I find it amazing that so many of the Obamacare detractors keep acting like spoiled children who didn’t get their way. They continue living in a magical world, thinking that the ACA will just disappear. (Read Davids, Erding, etc.) Despite the mounting evidence that the ACA is becoming more and more popular with the public because of the subsidized easily manageable premiums, low and middle class recipients are showing their approval.

Let’s look at a few of the facts: 1) There are three independent surveys--the Gallup, the Urban Institute, and the Commonwealth Fund---that all indicate a steep decline in the number of uninsured Americans since the ACA became law. 2) The Department of Health and Human Services, after a thorough study, found that the average subsidized net premium for those covered by the ACA was a mere $82 a month. 3) And here is the real surprise. The vast majority of those recently insured under the ACA are happy with their coverage and that includes 74 percent of Republicans according to Commonwealth!

Are there still problems with the ACA? Of course. One cannot expect such a massive federal social program to not have a number of glitches. People like Davids et al can always find problems with the program---some real, most exaggerated, and many fictititious or outright lies. Experts in the health field predict it will take another five years to remedy the solvable problems that remain. One shouldn’t be surprised by that. Consider how long it took the Social Security Program, Medicare, Medicaid, the Federal Prescription Drug Program (signed into law by former President Bush) to solve problems that were initially apparent in these programs. And, of course, there are still problems and inequities in all these programs. One can’t expect such massive governmental programs to be perfect. But the benefits of all these programs far outweigh any negatives.

All that the right wing branch of the Republican Party can do is whine and complain about this or that in the ACA. What is telling and most significant is that never once in the years since 2008 when serious talks began in the Obama Administration about reforming health care has a single Republican come up with a better plan or indeed any plan at all. That should not be surprising either. All of the great liberal social programs that have come into existence over the decades, which have improved the live .....
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