Funny thing – you don’t hear Republicans talking much about the Affordable Care Act (also known as “Obamacare”) lately. Maybe that’s because it’s actually working.
True, the ACA got off to a rocky start because of problems with the federal government’s website. But those problems have largely been fixed, and the number of Americans signing up for coverage under the ACA is rapidly mounting.
According to figures released by the Department of Health and Human Services, more than two million people had enrolled in private-sector health insurance through the federal and state exchanges by the end of 2013. Nearly four million more became eligible for coverage under Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program in October and November alone. (That number no doubt would be a lot bigger if the governors of many states, for partisan political reasons, hadn’t refused to expand Medicaid eligibility for their citizens.)
So that’s six million Americans who already have been helped to get affordable health coverage under the ACA. And the number doesn’t include young people under the age of 26 who have been able to get coverage under their parents’ policies.
Further, according to a report from the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, only about 10,000 people whose old policies were cancelled will be unable to get affordable new policies under the ACA. That’s less than one-half of 1 percent of the “five million cancellations” that opponents of the ACA love to cite.
The ACA isn’t perfect – what program created by human beings ever is? – but the numbers already show that it’s answering a huge unmet need for affordable health care coverage. And they also suggest that if the Republican Party plans to make repealing “Obamacare” its core strategy in the 2014 campaign, maybe it should rethink its game plan.