In his column attacking ObamaCare on this page, guest writer Ron Scarbro asks, in his headline, “After March 31, what then?”
Like all those who act as if our president is evil incarnate, Scarbro is licking his chops at the prospect of Republicans taking control of the Senate and House after the mid-term elections. Perversely, ironically, the giddy naysayers love the very thing they profess to hate (ObamaCare), because they see it as their ticket to electoral success, sweet revenge after losing the last two presidential elections to – horrors! – Obama. Yes, Republicans might well take over Congress. But in the meantime, sorry Ron, ObamaCare is here to stay.
With a mixture of crocodile dread and gloating glee (mainly gloating glee), Scarbro asks us: “After March 31, what then?”
I’d be glad to answer that question:
After March 31, at least 4.2 million people will have health-care insurance, many of them for the first time in their lives. That number will grow; good things take time. Of course, post March 31, as previously, Mr. Scarbro won’t need to get insurance on the ObamaCare exchange. That is because he’s already ensured by Medicare, a government program he’s championed in previous columns, a program started under Democratic President Lyndon Johnson, a program that was vilified as “communist,” “unworkable” and a “disaster” in its early years by the same kinds of people who now call ObamaCare a “train wreck.”
After March 31, as now, there will be many more millions, thanks to the ACA, who cannot be denied insurance due to pre-existing conditions, young people who can stay on their parents’ insurance until they turn 27 and women who won’t pay higher rates just because they’re women. In addition, millions of the working poor will have insurance through the expanded Medicaid program.
After March 31, millions of people will start getting free preventive check-ups to catch serious health problems before they get worse – and hugely expensive.
After March 31, many uninsured people in states like Texas are going to start wondering why they can’t get affordable health insurance as easily as people elsewhere.
After March 31, there will be more people dedicated to fixing the problems in ObamaCare, unlike the demagogues ranting rabidly against it without offering alternative ideas of their own on how to improve access to health care.
After March 31, as now, overall medical costs as a share of Gross Domestic Product will keep declining, compared to the years before the ACA was enacted.
After March 31, there will be fixes for those whose insurance plans were cancelled, many of them cancelled not because of ObamaCare but because cancellations have been common for years, long before the Affordable Care Act. Many of the people who had cancellations, including some featured in smear advertisements, will discover they can get less expensive and better policies through ACA insurance exchanges.
After March 31 and beyond, more people are going to understand how, in the long run, the ACA, despite problems and ongoing adjustments, will be accepted as a big plus for this country, just the way Medicare is widely popular now. Those who carp and curse about ObamaCare now just might realize what a good thing it is so many fellow Americans have insurance like they do.
After March 31, sad to say, Republicans and their big-spending shills, like the billionaire Koch brothers, will spend even more obscene amounts of money to accelerate their ad campaigns of sneering contempt aimed at the president, the ACA and any and all Democrats.
After March 31, Obama-haters are going to keep pounding their voodoo drums even louder, shouting their silly claims that our president is a socialist, a communist, an America-destroyer, a secret Muslim, a Kenyan-born devil and – horrors! – maybe even the anti-Christ who will precipitate Armageddon. What’s most pathetic of all is after March 31, as now, there will still be gullible alarmists eager to believe such anti-Obama garbage.