Barack Obama is awesome. No, he really is. The Affordable Care Act, or "Obamacare", was a landmark piece of legislation that various Presidents tried in vain to achieve, but Obama did it. He got it done after grabbing a mop and saying "I got this". Now that more and more soon-to-be-very-popular reforms are taking effect like insurance companies rebating their customers if the insurance company doesn't spend 80% towards medical expenses and expanded health care access for women, I say that it's time that we reclaim the word "Obamacare" (or if you would like Obama Cares) and we also turn around a certain other right-wing meme at the same time.
The President as well as Senator Barbara Boxer have already started to embrace the Obamacare label and why not? People love getting extra money, and I really doubt people who have been getting soaked by insurance companies before the Affordable Care Act got passed are going to protest that they're going to have an extra $200 or $300 dollars in their pocket(or more) thanks to insurances having to pay them back for overcharging them on premiums thanks to Obamacare. Also women will now be able to pay the same rates as men, and as Nancy Pelosi famously said "being a woman will no longer be considered a pre-existing condition." Damn straight, and you know what? Obama that built that!
Of course, I realize that many Democrats in Congress deserve credit for getting the Affordable Care Act done, and I am in awe of what Nancy Pelosi(and to a lesser degree Harry Reid) had to do in order to get a bill to the President's desk in the face of GOP obstruction and such "health care villains" as ex-Senator Blanche Lincoln, the retiring and won't be missed Ben Nelsen and Joe Lieberman. However since the Affordable Care Act is so widely known as "Obamacare", it would better to just say that Obama built that.
Let's follow the implementation timelineof the Affordable Care Act so we can see just what Obama helped bring about to this great country of ours. 2010, Lifetime limits on health care coverage gone. Obama built that!
2010 also saw that parents can keep their children on their health insurance until age 26. In an age where student loan burdens average in the five digits and some have student loan burden of $100,000 for a good education (Thankfully, having gone to a community college, mine is about $10,000. I know that I am lucky in that regard), allowing young adults to not be additionally burdened with trying to pay for their own health coverage is a great thing. And yeah, Obama built that!
On August 1st, 47 million women got more access to health care, and this will save lives. Allowing women to be able to get that crucial cancer screening is just something that should have been done long ago. Quoting the Huffington Post:
The Affordable Care Act now ensures that new insurance plans cover preventive health care without cost sharing requirements, such as co-pays, that for too long have put these critical services out of reach for so many women.Damn straight that it was about time. And you guessed it, Obama built it LIKE A BOSS!
No longer will women go without birth control because they cannot afford the co-pays.
No longer will women go without the HIV and Sexually Transmitted Infection screening and testing they urgently need.
No longer will cost prevent pregnant women from being tested for gestational diabetes.
No longer will cost prevent new mothers from getting the counseling, support and supplies they need to breastfeed their infants and give them a healthier start in life.
And, thanks to the Affordable Care Act, no longer will girls and women at risk for domestic violence go without potentially life-saving screening and counseling.
And to all this, I say: "It's about time."
And of course, let's not forget those Medical Loss Ratio rules that resulted in many people going to get rebates in the mail. Insurance companies are now required to spend at least 80% of every premium dollar on actual medical care instead of spending it on marketing, or administrative overhead. Health insurance companies actually having to you know, provide health care? Damn straight. If they fail to meet the 80% threshold, Insurance companies have to return the excess. This will no doubt become more popular as more people learn about it, and we have Obama to thank for building it.
As the Affordable Care Act gets closer to full implementation in 2014, we will see more lives saved thanks to expanded access to health care, and we will see "Obamacare" become another political "third rail" for those who would seek to repeal it. I, for one, cannot wait for that day when nobody dare move us backwards to the way things were done pre-March 23, 2010. Of course, I would be remiss if I didn't mention how Willard Mitt Romney helped in his small small way by making Massachusetts the first state to have universal health care. However, since Willard has disavowed his own creation and has several times said that he would repeal "Obamacare", he doesn't really deserve any credit for the law that finally brought us in with the rest of the industrialized world by providing universal health coverage. And Obamacare ought not be the end of our struggle for universal health care, but an important steeping stone towards a health care system on par with Canada and the United Kingdom.
11:26 AM PT: Forgot today was Obama's birthday. Happy 51st birthday!