Obamacare is an amazing success. It’s helping taxpayers save as much as $600 million as we’ve added over a decade of life to Medicare while massively expanding coverage. It’s an imperfect improvement from the status quo and the greatest attempt to reduce inequality we’ve made as a nation since the 1960s.
But calling the “Obamacare success story” an underserved genre is generous.
It barely exists.
Sure, you get the occasional special guest at the State of the Union to symbolize the more than 10 million Americans who have gained coverage over the last 12 months, which just happen to be the best 12 months of job creation we’ve experienced this century.
But that’s about it.
Billions have been to slander the Affordable Care Act and spread disaster stories that almost without exception turn out to be false. Sure, there are genuinely painful stories of people forced to transition out of plans or into new doctors. Yet there’s no evidence that these sad stories are any more common now than they were the time before Obamacare. And before the law, there was a real chance that if you lost coverage you could not get any insurance at all because of discrimination against people with pre-existing conditions — and Republicans didn’t care.
They didn’t care as 7.9 million Americans lost coverage under George W. Bush. They don’t care about the 1.5 million who will lose insurance if they make it easier for employers to drop them. They don’t care what will happen to the millions who will lose access to health care if a farcical lawsuit maims a law they weren’t able to defeat through legitimate efforts.
Putting a face on those who have benefited from Obamacare and those who could be crushed if the Supreme Court guts the law is essential — and no one has been doing a better job of it than our Amy Lynn Smith.
Just check out her last five takes on the genre:
- Young woman with a heart condition can finally get the care she needs thanks to the ACA
- Man living with AIDS finds better insurance that does more and costs less, thanks to the ACA
- “The ACA is lifesaving for me,” says man being treated for a brain tumor
- The Affordable Care Act gives Virginia woman the freedom to pursue her dream
- Having faced a medical bankruptcy, Republican has a change of heart about the ACA
This is just a single facet of the work we do to expose the stories and analysis that mainstream outlets either ignore or miss.
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[Image by LaDawna Howard via Flickr]