We’ve finally hit the point where nearly all people can agree — Obamacare is working. We have less uninsured than ever before, people have much smaller insurance payments, and many who have gone without coverage for years are finally getting the basic preventative care they had been missing.
Sure, the people who always hated the ACA are going to continue to be angry about it, but that number is dwindling as more Americans see the benefits of Obamacare. According to Gallup, the number of uninsured is drastically dropping, especially among the post college crowd who can stay on their parents’ insurance longer as they search for jobs with health care coverage included. Happiness with their coverage isn’t just a Democratic thing, either, as between 73-87 percent of those getting new coverage plans say they are happy with them.
Even better, they are getting care. “The survey found that 60 percent of the newly insured had gone to a doctor or a hospital or filled a prescription with their new plan,” writes the New York Times. “Of those, more than 60 percent said they wouldn’t have been able to afford the care without their new coverage. Most people seeking new primary care doctors found the process fairly easy and had to wait less than two weeks for an appointment.”
Obamacare has done more than just get people back to their doctors, too. According to Vox.com, the mandate covers not just birth control but flu shots and other vaccines, alcohol treatments and stop smoking programs, even obesity counseling all without copays.
Of course, there’s also the added benefits of no copay birth control, something that many people have used to get long lasting, reversible contraception (LARC) such as IUDs, which otherwise can cost around $700 or more to purchase and have inserted. LARC not only are more cost efficient in the long run without actually being permanent birth control, but are the most reliable at preventing unintended pregnancy due to the lack of daily dosing or potential to use it wrong. IUDs have been so effective in preventing pregnancy that a pilot program in Colorado saw teen pregnancy drop 40 percent when IUDs were offered and inserted.
All those happy consumers should hold the GOP off from wanting to rock the ACA boat, but that may not actually happen. “In many [conservative states], the GOP candidate knows he can almost win solely with Republican votes. And for base Republicans, the emotional power of Obamacare is immune to factual refutation,” said Paul Waldman at the American Prospect. “No matter how much data we get demonstrating that the law is working well, those voters will still get angry every time the word is spoken. So it’s in the candidates’ interest to keep on talking about it, in the same apocalyptic terms.”
Still, they are becoming a little more silent. According to Jaime Fuller at the Washington Post, Congress isn’t bringing up the issue nearly as much as they used to, probably because of the danger of the midterms looming. “This chart, courtesy of the Sunlight Foundation, shows the number of times members of Congress have mentioned the word ‘Obamacare’ in floor speeches,” writes Fuller. “That point way at the tippy top? That was September 2013, when Congress mentioned Obamacare 2,753 times. In June 2014, “Obamacare” was uttered just 171 times. And that’s despite Congress having been in session for about the same number of days.”
Fuller warns that silence in the congressional halls probably doesn’t mean silence on the campaign trails, especially when it comes to wooing midterm voters who are more likely to not have been positively impacted by the ACA. “During midterms, the voting population shrinks considerably, driven by apathy and the absent glamour of a presidential campaign. The people who still find it in their heart to turn out are older and more partisan. Thanks to Medicare, people over 65 have never comprised a large portion of the uninsured. Senior citizens are the only age bracket that hasn’t really been influenced by the Affordable Care Act’s insurance marketplace.”
In other words, the people who don’t like Obamacare? The people who already had coverage, often through their own government health care. And, if other voters don’t show up at the polls, they are the ones who are going to be there in droves, voting to take away the very health care that 80 percent of the newly ensured are so happy to have.
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