Politics Review: Obamacare Ain’t Goin’ Nowhere
Now, I said I wouldn’t write about the foolery surrounding the Obamacare roll-out. But, now that the US Supreme Court shot down a case on contraception mandates, I have no choice but to comment. This is your politics review with Jenn M. Jackson.
I am sure President Obama is all smiles now when it comes to his prized healthcare legislation. About two months ago, the Healthcare.gov website launched. It was glitchy and under-performing against the standards expected of such a grand public project. And, after an entire month or so of faux outrage from Republicans, staged hearings of the potential pitfalls of the bill itself (not the website), and all-out belly aching from folks who really couldn’t care less about expanding healthcare, President Obama came out and vowed to have the site in tip-top shape by December 1st. Then, he did it. But, there was a bunch of drama along the way that I didn’t care to talk about until now. Call it keen timing.
The Obamacare Drama in Five Acts
The truth is, Republicans having been plotting to skewer Obamacare since its inception, maybe even earlier. I am sure if they could figure out a way to act like Leonardo DiCaprio in the hit movie “Inception” controlling President Obama’s thoughts via inducement into a hyper-dream state, they would have done that instead. But, their offensive barrage of attacks on the bill was at least a valiant effort.
Act 1: Roll-out
On October 1st, we were all excited that the website was live. We all started telling our friends on social media to go and get registered.
Then all hell broke loose. Folks couldn’t log on. Waits were insane. People had to sometimes pick up those weird pieces of metal and plastic called ‘te-le-fones’ to call someone for help. It was a hot mess.
Act 2: Obama ‘breaks his promise’
The first faux event put on by the Republicans was the “you said we could keep our health coverage” debacle. A bunch of Americans with crappy insurance got all up in arms when their healthcare companies cancelled their policies. The only logical person to blame was President Obama, right? Well, no.
These companies have been and will continue to cancel health plans as they deem necessary because they own the market. They have previously had no obligation to consumers at all which was why President Obama fought for universal healthcare in the first place.
Good one guys but it was virtually impossible to find the President culpable for this one.
Act 3: Poor enrollment numbers
The second faux ordeal was when the enrollment numbers came in below the initial estimates. The state of California, with its state-run exchange, saw higher enrollment numbers than 36 other states. Why was this so? Well, because Republican run states, when presented with the opportunity to run their own exchanges, opted to bombard the federal exchange in the hopes that their lack of participation would be a boondoggle on President Obama.
It worked. Enrollment in Republican states became self-fulfilling prophecy making some believe that support for the healthcare law had waned. Not so. This was just another tactic employed by Republicans that failed.
Act 4: President Obama is lying again?
The third faux drama happened when news broke that President Obama was warned of website problems much earlier than he originally let on. But, he’s the President so who’s to say what brief he saw months ago.
Then, Democrats, worried about reelection, started to lose their cool on the healthcare bill. In other words, they too lost sight of the good they were doing and got hung up on Republican talking points.
In mid-November, news broke that President Obama’s approval ratings had dropped to 42 percent. Citing the healthcare roll-out, many on the right believed they had finally cornered the President. They effectively convinced enough Americans that better health coverage (in some cases any health coverage at all) was a bad thing for them prompting a less than 60 percent approval for the bill. But, there was a light at the end of the tunnel.
Act 5: The Supreme Court shuts everyone down…again
The fourth faux stir-up happened when Republicans and conservative corporations took that “corporations are people my friend” thing a bit too far. They somehow thought that if corporations are people then they can exercise freedom of religion. They attempted to take the contraception mandate in the Afforcable Care Act (ACA) to the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS). When the SCOTUS agreed to the hear the case, I nearly fell out of my chair.
In a flash though, SCOTUS said ‘nope, not getting involved in that one again‘ and all Republican hopes of killing this bill were dashed.
Now, Republicans can do little more than call the bill ugly and throw tomatoes at it in the form of fake websites disguised as Obamacare exchanges. Only highlighting potential costs – not benefits – is their only plan of action now.
The Healthcare.gov site is now working. And, Republicans have quieted to less than a mouse’s squeak. So, that’s that.
Well, they are threatening to impeach him but that’s not new. President Obama is winning right now. Let’s hope it stays that way.
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