So let us tonight come to some factual foundation about the Affordable Care Act.
While I was a supporter of single-payer in 2009, I was also pragmatic in my ability to score a run when it slides across home base. A win is a win. The health care needs of the nation required much assistance in 2009. Obamacare, simply put, was the fix that could pass Congress.
Obamacare is now very much deeply entrenched in America’s health care system. It covers some 31 million Americans directly, and it gives additional protection to people who get their health insurance outside the Obamacare markets — including from their employers. Republicans worked feverishly to derail the bill in 2009, and dismember it thereafter as they feared it would work, and the public would appreciate the benefits. Another social program!! Oh, no!!
My husband, James, runs his own guardianship business, dealing with clients with dementia or Alzheimer’s, and is on Obamacare. In fact, the office of Secretary of Health and Human Services, Kathleen Sebelius called our home to talk with James about his powerful letter of support for the plan…..and the call came mere minutes after he returned home from foot surgery which was made possible due to ACA.
This program touches on everything from menu calorie labels to the rights of nursing moms to free preventive care to lower drug costs for seniors. It protects people with pre-existing conditions. It helps disabled kids and their families. It has changed payment incentives to try to reward the quality of care, not just the quantity of care.
This program is a win-win no matter where you live, what you like on your pizza, or how you vote. From a policy perspective, the door has been opened and it is time to build on it, and I would suggest there is a clear path to universal coverage. The politics need to get rugged for that to take place, but the end result would be a win for all Americans.