Reader's view: Affordable Care Act is successful
Did you see the recent headlines proclaiming the remarkable successes of the Affordable Care Act? Neither did I. The corporate-controlled media have done an amazing job of burying the good news. Last year's apocalyptic predictions of doom have ev...
Did you see the recent headlines proclaiming the remarkable successes of the Affordable Care Act? Neither did I. The corporate-controlled media have done an amazing job of burying the good news. Last year’s apocalyptic predictions of doom have evolved into a consistent pattern of exaggerating inconsequential startup problems and ignoring the many signs of substantial progress.
Emergency room use is dropping for young adults who are now covered by their parents’ plans, according to a Stanford University study. The Kaiser Family Foundation reports that next year’s average premium increases will be far below the double-digit numbers common in the past. Aetna says it will expand its private health insurance products next year based on first-year successes. Best of all, the uninsured rate is dropping precipitously. A recent Gallup-Healthways survey revealed the lowest uninsured rate since tracking began in 2008.
So more Americans have access to good health care, and runaway cost increases have slowed. What’s not to like? These are dramatic achievements despite near-total Republican obstructionism. Democrats should be boasting of the successes of the Affordable Care Act, not apologizing for them. Imagine what could be accomplished if the GOP decided to cooperate.
Do you still dislike the Affordable Care Act? Maybe you miss the challenge of arguing with insurance companies about pre-existing conditions. Are you nostalgic for those monetary caps that arbitrarily limited coverage? Perhaps you yearn for the adrenaline rush you got from the realization that your savings of a lifetime could be wiped out by a single medical catastrophe.
Don’t let Republicans take us backward. On this issue they are on the wrong side of history. Sooner or later America will join all the other developed countries in acknowledging that access to health care is a fundamental human right and not a privilege reserved for the affluent.
James J. Amato