Affordable Care Act Next Chapter

April 8, 2014

The bottom line is it’s working. Millions of Americans are finding affordable insurance.

  • Americans can no longer be denied insurance because of a pre-existing condition – so you can change jobs – or leave a job – without worrying you can’t get care again. If you get too sick, your insurance provider can’t cancel your plan when you need it the most. Americans have access to preventative care and contraception, and insurance companies can’t discriminate against women anymore.
  •  Millions of Americans are better off because they have better insurance and the rest of us will benefit from that with lower premiums.

Main idea: 3 Important Numbers (7, 10, 5)

  • Political types have been arguing about this for years, but the question is what does this law look like for regular Americans?
  • For 7 million Americans, they just got health insurance online, with no hassle about pre-existing conditions, and for the women among those 7 million, there was no more cost penalty.
  • The real number to get excited about is the 10 million Americans who now have coverage because of the Affordable Care Act:
    • Around 2 million people signed up on the web site had been uninsured
    • Another 3 million young adults got to stay on their parents’ insurance
    •  Another 4.5 million Americans (who are just managing to keep themselves out of poverty) now have coverage through Medicaid
  • For all those people, they can finally, for the first time, get real health care — preventative care, early life-saving diagnoses, and drug coverage — with no worry about going bankrupt or being cut off ever again.
  • Sadly, for 5 million other Americans in 20 states who are eligible for care under the law, care that’s already paid for, they have had their care cut off by their Republican governor. Republicans across the country are blocking care for their own constituents just to spite the President.
    • Of those 5 million, research suggests 10,000 will die this year because they have no insurance.
    • That’s 10,000 Americans dead. Because Republican politicians literally left them to die.
Vocab note: avoid calling this “Medicaid expansion” if possible — call it “Republicans cutting off care” or the like. Medicaid is not the issue; the people who need help are the issue.  Focusing on the governmental program works against us.

Other ACA Offense:

  • It’s not really a surprise that the Affordable Care Act is working, since it works just like Romneycare in Massachusetts, and that has been working for years.
  • Health care spending growth slowed to its lowest rate since the government started tracking it in the 1960s. That means premiums are lower now than they would be without the Affordable Care Act.

Polling roundup:

  •  It’s clear Americans are having a confusion hangover about the Affordable Care Act, but the question going forward is whether Republicans will be able to keep swing voters confused and scared despite the fact that millions (even Republicans) are better off because of the law.
  • When you look at the data, the uninsured rate continues to drop and premiums are lower than originally projected but the Affordable Care Act is an intensely partisan issue and more Americans report that they’ve personally been personally hurt by the law.
  • So either this law cleverly singled out Republicans to do bad things to, or Republicans just hear a lot of bad things said about this law, even though it’s basically working fine.
    •  A recent AP poll found only 1 in 4 of Americans support the Affordable Care Act as is, but 54% of Americans expected to see the law remain with little to no change.
    • A Bloomberg poll this month found nearly 2 out of 3 Americans (64%) want to keep the law as is or make only small changes.
    •   Most polls (including ABC/WashPost) are finding ACA gaining in popularity. A recent Gallup poll does say more Americans than ever report they’ve been hurt by the Affordable Care Act, which in a way confirms AP poll that ACA might be more unpopular than ever.
    •  But Gallup found that political identification is the most important factor in determining a person’s view of the Affordable Care Act. This confirms what most of us have known all along – the ACA haters are just playing politics.
    •  Politics aside, the uninsured rate is plummeting thanks to the ACA and a majority of the uninsured are planning to get insurance and premiums are lower than estimated.

On GOP Responses:

  • In Mitch McConnell’s home state of Kentucky, the Affordable Care Act has now provided health care to almost half (42%) of the people there who had no insurance.
    • That’s more than a quarter-million (270,000) Kentuckians who just got health insurance, they’re going to be able to stay healthy and get life-saving treatment.
    • But their own Senator Mitch McConnell is hell-bent on taking that all away from them.
    • That is just not a tenable political position.
    • With these numbers, Republicans are not going to be able to keep pretending this law doesn’t work for very long.
  • Republicans are squirming because of the Affordable Care Act’s success.
    • They tried airing ads with scary stories that the sky is falling. But those stories are full of holes and time and time again, fact-checkers found them far from the truth.
    • Now they are trying to move the goal posts with the Affordable Care Act and some are even creating conspiracy theoriesabout the enrollment numbers.
Category: Health Care