DarkSyde's diaries, most recently Obamacare 303, have done a great job laying out the hows, whys, and wherefores of the insurance exchanges the ACA created. Unfortunately, the comments section had a few gems of unhelpfulness, and I want to talk about the issues they raise.
Stay tuned for some anger, and follow me below the Sigil of a Million Names.
First was this argument: "the ACA is useless to the American people, because it's just a gift to insurance companies and Democrats will do nothing to fix it". Really? Then who will improve the situation - Republicans? Really?
Here's the thing that really angers me about people posting in an otherwise-reality-based community: you get to vote for the candidates who run, and you get to try and influence the people who are in office. You do not get to raise your Progressive Power Rings in the air and shout "Solar! Voting! Health Care! Taxes! Heart! GO PLANET!" and a magical perfect progressive candidate will emerge fully formed to take up your pet cause. If you don't like the guys who got elected, and you don't like their political opponents, you don't have a third option in this country. Don't like that either? Fine, then fight it, but you will be slogging uphill for a long, long time.
I'm not telling people who think this way to shut up, although they may as well. I am telling them that they are adding noise to an already-noisy channel.
The second was this website: http://www.obamacarecliff.com/
Its scenario starts like this: "Here's the situation. It's 2013, after October 1st, and Joe D, 59 yrs old, has a wife and two children living with him (the kids never moved out). None of them have insurance." It ends with: "Joe fell off the Obamacare Cliff!!"
Yeah, you know what? Joe fell off the Obamacare Cliff, right onto a big pile of insurance that his family didn't have before. I'm sorry if Joe gets a raise and then stops being subsidized so much. You should be sorry that Joe's family was at risk of being thrown over the "no-insurance cliff" if any of them had the temerity to get sick or get in an accident or something.
The health care issue really angers me. I'm sorry, purity progressives who wanted Medicare For All and didn't get it, or who think Obama is being too cozy with insurance companies, or whatever. I appreciate your position. But I just have no sympathy for your complaints.
I have friends who work for retail outlets. They don't have insurance. None at all. Their boss goes in every month to get work done, and it's paid for. Their sick hours aren't being honored. So you know what? We went from "they can't get affordable insurance, sometimes due to pre-existing conditions" to "they can". I dare you to tell me that's a bad thing.
I have a friend whose parents ransacked their retirement money to pay for her medical bills. This law is going to help fix that. I dare you to tell me that's a bad thing.
I don't really give a fig if your hypothetical Fantasy Football political team could have done better. The people who got elected got us this far, the people I care about are going to see a higher quality of life, and the value of that cannot be ignored.
I am not telling anyone to stop fighting for what they believe in. I'm not telling anyone to suck it up and become an unquestioning Obamabot. I am telling people to stop bitching about outcomes that aren't possible, and to put energy behind achieving ones that are.