Here's a story you won't see in among the witch hunt of a media frenzy about Obamacare: according to a Kaiser Family Foundation analysis, 17 million Americans will be eligible to receive subsidies in the Affordable Care Act marketplaces (exchanges).
This is in addition to those who will become newly eligible for Medicaid in states that accept the massive, fully-federally funded expansion of the program under the Affordable Care. If all states accepted the Medicaid expansion, that would mean yet another 17 million Americans with free health coverage. If all states expanded Medicaid (at no cost to them - and likely less than no cost, since their cost of uncompensated care would be reduced dramatically), 34 million Americans in total would stand to gain either free or subsidized health insurance coverage. Thanks, Obama.
5 million of these 17 million Americans live in states that have decided to stiff it to their poor in order to show off their Tea Party credentials. Even without those states, the total number of currently uninsured Americans who stand to gain either subsidized or completely free health coverage stands to be at 29 million.
At the end of the day, the Affordable Care Act isn't about a website. It isn't about insurance companies lying to their customers. It isn't about the media's witch hunt. It is about these 29 million people who will finally be able to get quality coverage at an affordable rate. It is about the 5 million in poverty who could get help but won't because their state's Republican governments have decided that they shouldn't. Obamacare is about these 34 million people.
And, it is about the millions of seniors who are already saving billions on prescription drugs. It is about countless millions of Americans who already have insurance but now also have the security of knowing that their insurance company cannot drop them at the moment they need it the most, or run out of their "lifetime caps" when their child gets diagnosed with a rare disease.
This should be the Obamacare story of the day - not Congressional witch hunts about difficulties on a website that Congress (Conrgessional Republicans to be specific) itself sabotaged. The stories of 34 million Americans, almost all of whom are either uninsured or underinsured currently being eligible for free or subsidized insurance should be the ones filling up our airwaves instead of the toxic dust of Republican grandstanding and media smelling blood.
We won't. Not because this isn't a newsworthy story, but because the success of the Affordable Care Act would undermine its position as the media's favorite weapon to whack the president with.
But there will be a day of reckoning. When the website problems are solved and millions of Americans are able to finally get affordable, quality coverage, when Americans see lifetime and yearly limits disappearing from their policies, Obamacare is going to become a cherished American institution. And that is how we win. We win by making it work. We win because we finally join the rest of the civilized world by providing all our citizens with affordable, quality health care.
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