GOPocrisy, Obamacare — July 13, 2014 at 9:54 am

5 ways the GOP failed to sabotage the Affordable Care Act — and at least 1 way it succeeded


Creepy Uncle Sam

Republicans will keep trafficking in their “zombie lies” about Obamacare. But all the evidence shows that even they don’t believe them anymore.

To pretend the Affordable Care Act isn’t working now requires rapid revisions of what constitutes failure along with hopes that premiums will rise dramatically this year.  There’s no evidence that rates will go up more than they have in past years, and with new insurers entering marketplace after marketplace, there’s a chance that millions could be paying less.

Before Obamacare, “health insurance was getting expensive at a faster rate than incomes were accumulating for middle- and low-income families,” The Washington Post’s wrote. Now insurance companies have to have to have all increases approved and have to pay customers back if not enough of premiums are spent on actual care.

Still, Republicans will never stop arguing for a return to the huge gaps in coverage Americans faced before health care reform — because the super rich won’t let them. But they have to admit that their plot to undermine the law has mostly failed.

Here’s why:

1. A huge, undeniable reduction in uninsured Americans.

All the data shows that in six-months, we’ve reduced the uninsured population to lower than what it was before the recession began when a larger percentage of the population was employed. There’s some debate about how many people have gained coverage but almost everyone agrees the number is at least 9 million.

Charles Gaba’s notes that the number of Americans who have coverage through policies enabled by the law is at least 24 million.

And the people who have signed up for coverage — even Republicans — are generally happy with what they’re getting.

2. The Kochs have burned more than $40 million in anti-Obamacare ads.
Koch-funded Americans for Prosperity spent the last 6 months and more than $40 million bashing Obamacare. The result? Far more people want to keep and fix the law the law than repeal it.

Even more telling is that these ads have had little-to-no effect in the Senate races they’re meant to swing. Gary Peters still leads Terri Lynn Land in Michigan. Mark Udall is up in Colorado. The Senate race in Oregon, which had the worst exchange problems in the nation, isn’t even competitive.

Scott Brown in New Hampshire trails Jean Shaheen by 12 points in the latest poll.

“Remember, the entire rationale for Brown’s candidacy is that Obummercare sucks,” The Washington Post’s Greg Sargent wrote. “How much cash has Americans for Prosperity lit on fire on anti-Obamacare ads in New Hampshire at this point?”

3. Ads against the law may have helped it.
The Between Two Ferns episode President Obama did to promote signups is up for an Emmy. The ads against the law should win an award for not only failing to dissuade enrollment but possibly encouraging people to sign up.

“In fact, after controlling for other state characteristics such as low per capita income population and average insurance premiums, I observe a positive association between the anti-ACA spending and ACA enrollment,” Brookings’ Niam Yaraghi wrote. “This implies that anti-ACA ads may unintentionally increase the public awareness about the existence of a governmentally subsidized service and its benefits for the uninsured.”

4. The House GOP is suing — to implement it faster.
After years of proclaiming that this president — who has issued fewer executive orders than any occupant of the White House in a century — is a power mad tyrant, the House GOP has finally come up with a lawsuit to reign him in.

“In essence, the Speaker is asking the House to sue the president for not implementing Obamacare quickly enough,” The National Memo‘s Henry Decker wrote.

Even if the House has standing to sue the president for altering the employer mandate, which it probably won’t, the suit will be required to prove some harm from the president’s action. If that happens, the GOP will have reigned in future Republican presidents and made the case that not regulating corporations is harmful.

5. The law’s greatest success is barely discussed.
Obamacare’s greatest success will likely helping to reduce or eliminate our long-term debt problems with incredibly successful Medicare reforms.


The success of these reforms means full repeal of the law would add hundreds of billions, if not trillions, to our debt.

When the Supreme Court upheld the individual mandate, it also gave the GOP states the best chance to sabotage the law by turning down Medicaid expansion.

Republicans have denied close to 5 million Medicaid expansion coverage, resulting in as many as 17,100 deaths, hospitals closing and at least one couple divorcing.

This is a slow-motion, intentional Katrina taking place in the many of the states with the with the worst health care in the nation, including Texas with one-million uninsured and a vaccination rate lower than Central America.

It also costs other residents of the states by raising the cost of the premiums of their exchange plans by up to 15 percent.

And the libertarian movement that encouraged Republican states not to build their own marketplaces are waging a lawsuit over semantics that would take away tax credits in states that didn’t set up their own exchanges.

So Republicans are suing to deny tax breaks to people in red states.

There may be no more perfect example of how the right is willing to self-harm in order to oppose the greatest victory for the middle class in generations.