Obamacare succeeds

April 24, 2014 

Well, despite all the hand-wringing and various right-wing scare tactics, the Affordable Care Act is working well. Through the ACA, more than 8 million people have enrolled in exchange plans, more than predicted. They've been able to purchase relatively affordable insurance on a sliding scale, based on their income. The ACA also expanded Medicaid to 138 percent of the poverty rate. So millions more Americans now qualify for Medicaid, and that expansion cost the states nothing.

The Republican-dominated Supreme Court sought to cripple the ACA by ruling states have the option not to expand Medicaid. And, in 25 states, Republican legislatures and governors did just that in spite of the financial advantages to businesses and health benefits for their citizens. Consequently, more than 8 million Americans have been dealt out because those states refused to raise their Medicaid ceiling. These include many of the most disadvantaged states in the country.

One of many Republican fallacies about the ACA was that it would bring "death panels," clandestine assemblages that would determine who lives or dies. (Perhaps they thought nobody would remember them using that same fear-tactic against Medicare 50 years ago.) However, in states that opted not to expand Medicaid, more than 7,000 Americans will die this year simply because they have no health coverage. That's 19 people who'll die today because states unconscionably chose to play politics and deny their citizens access to Obamacare. So, I suppose there are death panels -- those Republican-elected officials in 25 states.

Kevin J. Gagen

Belleville

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