Something great is happening in America — which is why the GOP would rather talk about almost anything else
Nearly every day there seems to be more news that the Affordable Care Act is succeeding in ways that seems inconceivable as Healthcare.gov floundered last year:
- We know that at least 10 million Americans have gained health care coverage since January as we’ve experienced the best job creation since 1999.
- Every day another 9,000 people enroll in an ACA marketplace plan as the number of those covered by such plans has grown to between 23.7 and 28.4 million.
- Insurance premiums are on average growing at a slower rate than before Obamacare became law and they’re even going down in a couple of states.
- Closing a tax loophole on health care industry CEOs has raised $72 million.
- More insurers are joining more state marketplaces offering increased competition and options for consumers.
- And bright red states like Wyoming and Tennessee continue to move closer to expanding Medicaid — because not doing so isn’t just cruel, it’s dumb.
- On top of this is the slightly astounding news that Medicare costs per patient are declining in a way that greatly reduces our long-term debt problems, thanks in part to the Affordable Care Act. And this happened as the law had added benefits to Medicare.
But the most amazing news of all is that Ted Cruz has moved Obamacare down his of issues he can use to rile up the Republican base.
In his speech at the Koch-funded “Defending the American Dream Summit” Kochfest, the junior Senator from Texas laid out what he sees is the biggest issue of the 2014 election “Number one, no amnesty. …If you support amnesty, vote Democrat. If you oppose amnesty, throw Harry Reid out.”
Cruz wants to make this election an referendum on amnesty because it’s a meaningless word that can be applied to anything less than deporting 11 million undocumented immigrants. It’s savvy of the Senator since this election will be almost entirely decided in states in districts that have no significant Latino vote. For that reason President Obama seems to be delaying his plans to expand his initiative to delay the deportations of law-abiding Americans who have families or roots in America.
The Washington Post‘s Greg Sargent points out that Republicans are still recycling old attacks against the name “Obamacare,” which hardly resemble what the law looks like in reality. And Democrats usually counter by pointing out the GOP wants to end Medicare as we know it. It’s an issue that’s fought to a draw, thus useless for most campaigns.
But just a year ago it was Ted Cruz’s obsession — and now it’s not even number one on his fuckit list.
If he were to describe his behavior using his cartoony rhetoric, he’d have to say his retreat from repeal hysteria is clearly an admission the law is working!
Cruz — who accused any Republican willing to keep the government open with Obamacare funded in 2013 of “surrender” — is also predicting that the law won’t be repealed to 2017. Even he now recognizes that President Obama isn’t going to delete his greatest accomplishment. So it will be up to the next president to cancel more than 20 million Americans’ health insurance.
Who will be the next president? Well, Latinos will have a bigger say in that election, especially in swing states where their share of the population is growing.
Given the child refugee crisis, fears about ISIS and the mostly white makeup of the 2014 election, calling for mass deportations is a smart strategy now. However, as Latino voters have shown in California, this kind of scaremongering does not fade from memories easily.
Ted Cruz’s penchant for opportunistic attacks has made him a Tea Party favorite and a frontrunner for the 2016 GOP nomination. Reality may not get in Cruz’s way in a GOP primary. But in a general election, Cruz’s demagoguery may be a Democrat’s dream come true.
[Photo via jbouie | Flickr]