Affordable Care Act, Obamacare, Republicans — April 30, 2014 at 4:35 pm

Obamacare ‘horror stories’ are harder and harder for Republicans to find


They keep trying to dig them up, but Americans are responding with success stories instead.

You’d think by now Republicans would have seen the writing on the wall: Obamacare is working, and people who have coverage are happy about it.

But since the GOP doesn’t have any alternative plan to offer, they just keep singing the same tired, old refrain of blatant lies and scare tactics.

Chris wrote about Michigan Congressman Tim Walberg’s failed attempt to hold an anti-Obamacare town hall, where he was met with support for the Affordable Care Act (ACA) — and ultimately had to admit it’s working.

Florida Gov. Rick Scott pulled similar shenanigans, trying to scare seniors into thinking Obamacare will dip into their Medicare benefits. Gov. Scott claims he’s hearing stories of people losing their coverage — but what he heard at a recent gathering was quite different, said the Sun Sentinel.

Scott asked one woman if she’d seen any changes in her Medicare Advantage coverage. ‘Not really,’ she responded. A man said he was ‘very happy’ with his coverage. Another woman said she and her husband are ‘very pleased.’ Another man reported ‘no problems.’

Sonia Azam, 73, of Coconut Creek, told Scott she found orthopedic surgeons weren’t taking Medicare anymore. Scott asked the group if others were finding physicians were opting out of Medicare, and the response was a chorus of ‘no’s.

Ruthlyn Rubin, 66, of Boca Raton, told the governor that people who are too young for Medicare need the health coverage they get from Obamacare. If young people don’t have insurance, she said, everyone else ends up paying for their care when they get sick or injured and end up in the hospital.

Why are Republicans resorting to the same old tired tropes and outright lies? Because the success stories continue to outnumber the so-called “horror stories,” which are consistently proven false.

Julie Harrison of Brighton, Mich., is just one of the many examples of how the ACA is working. The 55-year-old private school teacher has type 2 diabetes, and must take insulin to manage her condition.

Before Obamacare, she looked for private insurance but couldn’t afford premiums that soared above $2,000 a month because of her pre-existing condition. Instead, she relied on the Livingston Health Plan, a county program for low-income residents that only provided partial coverage for her needs. Harrison’s school doesn’t offer health insurance — and she had to ask that her salary not be increased or she would become ineligible for the program.

“I had to keep my income low to qualify, but I love my job and didn’t want to have to work somewhere else just so I could get insurance,” Harrison says.

Thanks to the ACA, Harrison now has coverage she can afford. With the help of tax credits, she pays just $18 a month for a Silver plan. She pays $40 for the three bottles of insulin she needs every month — a bargain compared to the price she’d pay out of pocket without coverage, which would be about $100 per bottle, or $300 per month.

Harrison pays a little more for her insulin than she did under the county program, but she doesn’t mind that. She’s grateful to be able to buy private health insurance for herself — something she firmly believes every working person should be able to do.

The Affordable Care Act gives me freedom. Before, I felt trapped because of my pre-existing condition. Now I don’t have to be limited to a lower income to qualify for coverage, and if my income does go up and my tax credits go down, I’ll still be able to afford health insurance. Plus, now I can get coverage nationwide, instead of just in the county where I live.

That’s freedom: Freedom to be covered wherever I am and the freedom to grow financially.

Given how much Republicans say they support freedom — and want to see people fending for themselves instead of relying on government programs — you’d think they’d be celebrating stories like Harrison’s.

If you ask me, it’s just a matter of time until Republicans get on the bandwagon. Probably right before the November elections. But by then, if Democrats are smart they will have made it abundantly clear which party has fought for Obamacare all along.

[Photo credits: Top, LaDawna Howard via Flickr | Bottom, courtesy of Julie Harrison.]