After granting concessions to the Republicans in 2010, President Obama still took considerable political risk in pushing for the Affordable Care Act, the basis of which was the successful Massachusetts state program.
The GOP hired a wordsmith to malign the new healthcare reform and change its public image. Focus groups were employed to determine effectiveness to evoke a mean-spirited response.
Conclusion: Call it Obamacare. Scripts were prepared to include disparaging and untrue comments intended to misinform the public. People bought it, believing Obamacare was bad and the Affordable Care Act was good.
Many Americans still believe Obamacare is a “government takeover of healthcare.” (It’s not.) “It will put people out of work.” (It didn’t); “It will destroy the economy” (It hasn’t); and, most flagrant, “death panels.” And it’s not socialism. Most Americans still receive healthcare under their employer’s medical insurance.
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However it’s known, the ACA/Obamacare passed its introduction. First erratic and then succeeding, it’s now working and widely accepted. More than Over 25 million people have signed up. Premium costs expectedly increased because new enrollees were of poor health, requiring more care than the average — but are now stabilizing. Coverage is guaranteed and cannot be denied because of preexisting conditions or canceled because of sickness.
Certain preventive services are covered without charge. Individual enrollment is mandated — necessary to stabilize premium cost — and subsidies support low-income enrollment.
Never has a partisan and dysfunctional Congress shown as much contempt for a president and such disregard for the public they serve. It now plans to repeal the Affordable Care Act, but delay its replacement.
Let’s see where President Trump goes when he repeals and replaces it with “something terrific.”
Kenneth Saum, Stuart