The news of the day is that between six and seven million people have now signed up for the largest expansion of Health Care for Americans since the advent of Medicare. Lost in these impressive numbers is the story of how many other Americans have been impacted for the better, many of whom would likely be the first to curse the President for strangling Americans' futures by imposing upon them the tyrannical bonds of "socialism."
And the numbers are, indeed, almost Stalinesque in their scope:
That's how many young adults can get coverage because of the provision in Obamacare that allows them to stay on their parents' insurance plans until age 26.
That's how many Americans no longer have lifetime expense caps, whether it's because they have chronic illnesses or because their insurance company set restrictive policie
That's how many Americans with Medicare Part D no longer have to go through the "doughnut hole" coverage gap. This means seniors can save more than $5.7 billion on prescription drugs.
50 to 129 million
That's how many people will benefit from the Obamacare provision that eliminates all bars for coverage based on pre-existing conditions. Studies say that anywhere from 19% to 50% of non-elderly Americans have health conditions that could qualify as pre-existing conditions.
That doesn't include the peace of mind that comes from knowing that your insurance can't be cancelled on a whim of some insurance executive who feels his bonus may be threatened by continuing to cover you. That you don't have to stay in a job you hate just so you can keep yourself and your family protected from medical bankruptcy. Or the fact that 80% of the premium you pay goes towards actual health care as opposed to buying expensive artwork for the company headquarters.
-- That's how many Americans — i.e., all of us — potentially benefit from the requirement that insurance companies provide flu shots, HIV screenings, prostate exams, mammograms and FDA-approved contraception for free, without a co-pay.
As more Americans access private health insurance choices through the exchange marketplace, receive care minus the discrimination and dirty tricks that insurance companies could get away with in the past, we'll see more people getting the medicine they need, screened for cancer sooner in more treatable stages and pay less for good care.Kohn wonders if we've reached a point where the net negatives of opposing the Affordable Care Act begin to outweigh the positives in the mind of a Republican Party that has voted 50 times to deny Americans these benefits.
The tide may have turned today.