As the second sign-up for insurance via the Affordable Care Act gets underway, the Gallup Poll has just released some good news.
Of those who were newly insured in 2014 thanks to ObamaCare, 74 percent of those people rated their quality of health care as “Excellent” (32 percent) or “Good” (42 percent). Twenty percent of them rated it “Only Fair,” and 5 percent rated it “Poor.” Those numbers were very similar when those same people rated their health-care coverage on a scale of excellent to poor.
The responses also jibe closely when compared with all people who have health insurance, including plans other than those accessed through the ACA.
But wait, folks, there’s more: On just the first day of enrollment, Nov. 15, about 100,000 people signed up for insurance through ObamaCare exchanges, and a million people had begun to shop online.
Some are hailing those statistics, some or poo-poohing the numbers, and others, like news-show commentator Joe Scarborough, are grudgingly admitting that, yes, those numbers are good ones. Scarborough, host of the daily Morning Joe show on msNBC, has long been a vociferous critic of ObamaCare. On the morning of Nov. 17, it was refreshing to hear him, begrudging though his voice sounded, admit the poll figures are good and to hear him also admit increases in overall health-care costs are the lowest they’ve been in decades. Of course, Scarborough, like other ACA critics, attributes the decline in costs to fear by health-care providers and insurance companies – fear of pressures imposed by the “threat” of ObamaCare. That was Scarborough’s way of dismissing that factor of the ACA’s success. Couldn’t he just have acknowledged that – whether it’s from fear or structural changes – who cares? – ObamaCare is working; it’s helping keep overall medical costs down.
Opponents of ObamaCare, like single-minded termites, keep vowing to repeal the ACA, people like presumptive majority leader in the U.S. Senate, Mitch McConnell, who said recently, while shaking his jowls, that ObamaCare must be removed “branch and root.” These opponents keep seeking “bad” things about the ACA. They point to polls that say only about 37 percent of Americans favor the law. But what’s interesting is when people are asked by pollsters about various provisions of the ACA, they will give very favorable responses, apparently unaware those good provisions are, in fact, part and parcel of the ACA. Other poll respondents – those who don’t pay attention – have said they like the ACA but they don’t like ObamaCare. That’s like someone saying they like air but they don’t like oxygen.
Many who dislike this health-care law no doubt have their reasons. The law, after all, is not perfect. It definitely will need adjustments along the way, as Obama himself was and is the first to admit. But what’s disappointing is that one would think, as these examples of positive news come in, the law’s diehard opponents would ask how can we fix it rather than how can we destroy it “root and branch.”
Opponents want to replace the law by introducing competition into medical markets. It’s obvious, despite their fierce opposition to it, they don’t even know what ObamaCare is. That’s because introducing market competition is exactly what ObamaCare has done, and that is why people are online now, shopping for the best health-care plan to fit their income levels and their needs.
Thanks to that competition and affordable access, at least 10 million Americans now have health insurance, many for the first time in their lives, and they like it. Now, if that isn’t success, what is? It’s time to make this good law even better.