Obamacare has led to health coverage for millions more peopleRight to the point: millions more people have health insurance coverage. And the lede:
President Barack Obama's health care law, despite a rocky rollout and determined opposition from critics, already has spurred the largest expansion in health coverage in America in half a century, national surveys and enrollment data show.Please read below the fold for more on this story.
As the law's initial enrollment period closes, at least 9.5 million previously uninsured people have gained coverage. Some have done so through marketplaces created by the law, some through other private insurance and others through Medicaid, which has expanded under the law in about half the states.
That's hitting all the key points in two short paragraphs: This law is President Obama's creation, the rollout was a mess, the opposition has tried everything to kill it or undermine it, and it already has spurred the largest expansion in health coverage in America in half a century. Of course, it still faces some hurdles.
But the increased coverage so far amounts to substantial progress toward one of the law's principal goals and is the most significant expansion since the creation of Medicare and Medicaid in 1965.Those are popular programs, and Obamacare significantly expanded them. In terms of politics, there's also a bigger story. As Jed Lewison and David Nir already noted, Republicans already are panicking. They should be. It's about Obamacare, but it's so much more. As I wrote last September:
But the bigger reason why the Republicans are justified in their panic isn't because of the good things Obamacare will do, it's because of the good things Obamacare won't be able to do. Because the problem with Obamacare isn't that it goes too far, it's that it doesn't go far enough. And once people realize that the Republicans were lying about Obamacare, that government can do good things, and that Obamacare does good things but not enough good things, they will want more. They will realize that Obamacare was just one step along a larger path, and they will want the next step. They will want all the steps, until we reach the destination of quality health care for everyone. And they will realize that the Republicans who were so wrong and so dishonest about Obamacare are not the people to take us down that path. They will realize that the Democrats are.The framing begins with the two paragraphs from the McClatchy reporter. When discussing Obamacare, the most basic point to emphasize, the most basic point with which to start all conversations, and the most basic point to repeat throughout all conversations is this:
But the biggest reason why the Republicans are justified in their panic is that Obamacare will demonstrate, yet again, that good government is good for people. Government intervention in the health insurance racket will make things better. This is not exactly a secret, given the overwhelming success and popularity of Medicare and Medicaid, but the entire Republican anti-government schtick is about to be exposed, yet again. People who believe government can do good things prove it, by making government do good things. People who believe government is bad don't make government do good things. People who believe government is bad provide bad government, which the Republicans prove again and again. But people want good government. That's what this whole democracy and republic thing is all about. And there is nothing more terrifying to Republicans than democracy and republic.
the largest expansion in health coverage in America in half a centuryMore to come. But it started here.