The Top 5 Challenges To Obamacare

Obamacare is here to stay, and it’s driving the right bonkers.

The massive overhaul of this country’s health insurance regulatory structure not only survived Supreme Court review, it survived its first political test in a sweeping victory for President Obama and down-ticket Democrats. For conservatives, that means that the last two years have, in effect, been wasted. But rather than concede defeat and re-group many on the right are forging ahead, doubling down on their promise to repeal health care reform. Here are five problems that still face Obamacare after all this drama:

1. Tea Party sore losers flat out refuse to implement Obamacare

A number of states like Texas and Wisconsin have decided to opt-out of the state exchanges under Obamacare. The reasoning, as offered up by Gov. Scott Walker (R-WI) is that states should have more control over health care reform, so naturally more state control over Obamacare means handing the reigns for creating the insurance exchanges used to administer the reforms over to the federal government. Because that makes perfect sense. Just in case this sounds like an overreaction, consider the fact that some Tea Partiers were demanding a return to “citizens arrests” of any government official who started to implement the law. Seriously.

2. Conservative billionaires find sneaky loopholes to avoid giving employees health insurance

It’s not just Tea Party governors taking the loss over health care reform badly. Private businesses like Papa Johns Pizza, Olive Garden, Denny’s and other big-box chains have decided to send a message to America and cut employee hours and drop health care coverage in protest over the law. And while it’s easy to be smug about such news–after all these businesses not only deliver crappy products but they already exploit workers and depress local economies — it’s important to remember they do employ a lot of people. And those people need health care coverage and likely live in a state where conservatives are trying to take that coverage away both in the public sector and now the private sector too.

3. GOP still fighting Obamacare in the courts

It’s not just the numerous legal challenges to the birth control mandate that are gumming up the works in the implementation of Obamacare, but conservatives are still litigating the health care law itself. This time, instead of challenging the constitutionality of health care reform, conservatives are challenging the federal government’s ability to administer subsidies for health insurance coverage in the multi-state exchange. These subsidies are what will make insurance coverage affordable for people who previously couldn’t afford insurance. Conservatives argue only state exchanges can give out these subsidies, and that if a state chooses not to set up an exchange then there’s no way for citizens in that state to get a subsidy to pay for their insurance in the federal exchange. So in places like Wisconsin and Texas that means that if these legal challenges are successful then conservatives will mark this victory in lives lost, having made it impossible for their citizens to get affordable health insurance despite the existence of reforms designed to do just that.

4. Transgendered people and others still face discrimination under Obamacare

Despite all its advances Obamacare has some big flaws. One area of concern is making sure all people get access to the same comprehensive coverage. While the bulk of the non-discrimination provisions of Obamacare have focused on provisions that will end benefits discrimination against women, the Center for American Progress has a new report designed to help fill any gaps in coverage for transgender people. As it stands, health insurance companies routinely target transgender people for denial of benefits that are routinely covered for nontransgender people. Until these practices come to an end across the spectrum Obamacare will remain an unfilled promise for many. Conservatives hate the idea of including transgender people in non-discrimination provisions and insurance companies love an excuse to exclude health care services from coverage.

5. It’s too big to fail

The Obama administration has pushed back the deadlines for states in setting up exchanges multiple times already, in part because the administrative burdens in implementing the changes have proven trickier than even Washington anticipated. And while that fact alone is nothing that should surprise us– after all if health care reform was easy it would have been done eons ago– it shows the most obvious vulnerability in Obamacare: It’s size. It’s an ambitious project with far-reaching goals. In a world where our citizenry is used to instantaneous information the time needed to launch Obamacare could prove to be its greatest political liability, a fact conservative foes will be all to willing to exploit whatever way they can.


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Photo from will1ill via flickr.


Kelly Gilbert
Kelly Gilbert5 years ago

First of all, it is Universal Health Care, not Obamacare. The Republicans named it that. It helps so many Americans who need medical care. Not to mention the jobs it creates! Doctors and hospitals are getting more patients than pre Universal Health care.

Dennis D.
Past Member 5 years ago

Sarah H. Your opinion of the ACA is yours.. one i disagree with in entirely it is not a perfec step. But it is doing real good.

As for stealing money this link will clear that misconception up fpr you.

In essence it does not steal one dime from any one.
Also here is what it does do.

The Hill: Health Law Has Saved Seniors $4.8 Billion On Rx Drugs, HHS Says
HHS regularly touts the savings seniors have seen from new discounts on prescription drugs, ... The Affordable Care Act gradually closes the Medicare "doughnut hole" -- a coverage gap in which seniors have to pay for their drugs entirely out of pocket. Drug makers also agreed to offer deep discounts to Medicare recipients. So far, seniors have saved $4.8 billion on their prescriptions, HHS said. The department said 5.6 million seniors have received a drug discount or rebate, including 2.3 million this year. Seniors who hit the doughnut hole have saved an average of $657 this year (Baker, 10/25).

Sarah Hill
Sarah Hill5 years ago

ObamaCare is just bad policy. NOBODY read is before passing this huge bill that adds an obscene amount of debt to the budget and many new taxes that fall on the middle class, it steals money from Medicare (which is NOT an entitlement because everyone pays for it out of every pay check)

Danuta Watola
Danuta W5 years ago

Thanks for the info

Mary L.
Mary L5 years ago

"after all if health care reform was easy it would have been done eons ago"

I seriously disagree with your belief. It wouldn't have been done because only problems cause change.

Don H.
Don H5 years ago

Dennis D, thanks for correcting David's poor understanding of history.

Dennis D.
Past Member 5 years ago

David F. An historical correction. Four actually..

One. The House Speaker is not the strongest office on the planet. That would be the Office of the President.

Second. President Clinton was the one that proposed the budget. That every republican ran away from at the time. Including Newt Gingrich. Who was ran out of Washington for doing what the tea party did two years ago. That is playing brinkmanship with the economy. Republicans were a little more sensible then.

The third correction is that Bush tax cuts is something your prize republican/tea party want to continue. And it help them (the rich) keep money in their pockets. It does not harm them.

The fourth correction is that is was a recession. Not a depression. That we are now, no thanks, to the republican/tea party just starting to climb our way out of now.

Side note the recession was caused by many factors. It was not just the fault of one party, but both.

Also please do note that I am a moderate liberal that is an independent voter.

Susan Allen
Susan A5 years ago

David F., as usual, you certainly have your own creative way of looking at history. Among the statements you just made, calling either Bush president liberal is ludicrous at best. No wonder you say crazy things, you don't actually live in the same reality with the rest of us.

Dennis D.
Past Member 5 years ago

David F. Sure we can. The ACA has been declared Constitutional. The seniors will be better covered. The Insurance companies are quietly backing away from wanting to see the ACA over turned. That alone should tell you something.

But to continue.

One of the best things former President Reagan(d) did while in office was to get some economists together and devised the very reason why former President Clinton was able to have a surplus.

This is an over simplification and misses a lot of the relevant details.

Simply put. Then President Reagan(d) devised a budget where in you looked at your resources. Streams of revenue and what needed to get paid. Debts, social services, ect. Applied the available streams of revenue to the priorities that each president would set for himself. So that no matter who was in office an eventual surplus would be gained.

However, this plan would only work as long as each succeeding president followed it.

Former President Bushjr. Threw it out with a sneering contempt as it looked like a democrats economic policy.. Which was the other half of the genius of this plan. A President could apply those numbers and have it looked like his own.. It worked. Until of course President Bushjr came along.

You say SS, Medicare, and Medicaid are ponzi schemes far from it. the money is already there. It is about priorities. One of President Obama priorities is to see that Americans are covered and stayed covered.

Mary B.
Mary B5 years ago

David F..........You are SUCH a condesending man......Once again may I introduce YOUR President....Barrack Obama.......for a second term with the popular vote........YOU have forgotten, conveniently, how the US got into problems in the first place from 2000 to 2008...
I see from the news that a lot of the "rats" are jumping ship too......Your current President, Mr.Obama, has done more for the US than Mr.Bush did in 8 years..... If the ACA was the only thing he did, that alone was something that no other president has been able to accomplish......It is law and a very good thing especially when it is fully in place......You are a small man with small thinking.