Republicans Are Also Benefiting From The Success Of Obamacare–And Some Now Love It

As I noted yesterday, with the tremendous success of the Affordable Care Act, even some Republicans who voted against Barack Obama are seeing the benefits of Obamacare and are finding reasons to love it. Republicans have frequently cited horror stories, except that the facts turn out to be different than they claim whenever a reporter goes to the effort to fact check. It is good that we are seeing more true stories about the Affordable Care Act from Republicans who love Obamacare. This story started with the example of Irene Jacusis who did not vote for Obama but does not agree with Republican attempts to repeal Obamacare:

She says her husband Ronald died last year from a rare sarcoma because he waited too long to see a doctor after he felt a lump.

“If my husband had gone, if he had insurance at the time, when it was the size of a marble and had gotten an x-ray and taken care of it at stage 1 level, he would be alive today.”

Another Republican who wants to keep the Affordable Care Act is Mary Fallon of St. Petersburg. She was a teacher for many years, but because she was paid from grant funds she didn’t qualify for health insurance. She had to buy her own policy, but then she got sick. Hello, pre-existing condition.

She was between “a rock and a hard place. If I canceled my insurance, I was uninsurable.”

If she dropped the policy and got sick, she could lose everything.

“By the time I canceled my policy I was up to $768 a month, so what is that, almost 10 grand a year? With $5,000 deductible. Do the math.”

Then came the Affordable Care Act and Healthcare.gov. After running into glitches, Fallon found her way to Johnnie Ruth Clarke health center in St. Petersburg. And a navigator, Johanna Santiago.

“In a half hour she had my account set up, and I had a confirmation, a password, a login, and I was good to go,” said Fallon, 49. “This was December and I cried. I just held my hands up in the air. Thank you, god. Finally, some relief. I couldn’t do it anymore.”

Now her premium is $150 a month, she said. Her deductible is only one-third as much as it used to be.

“ I have dental insurance!” she said in wonder. “And all the doctors that I do see, my dentist, my GYN, for a whole year I’m paying less than I paid per month.”

Fallon says she thinks the Affordable Care Act will help the economy. “The difference is now I can take the money that was going to that one insurance premium and I can go to the hair stylist,I can get my house repaired. I’m spending money in my community. This is going to be a ripple effect, this is going to restart the economic engine. We have been so enslaved by the health insurance system.”

This is what I am actually seeing in my practice under the Affordable Care Act. I also have patients with chronic medical problems who previously were unable to obtain health care coverage due to problems including pre-existing conditions, inability to afford care, and in one case a patient losing her health care coverage when her husband retired. As of January these, and many more people, are receiving coverage they can afford. The Affordable Care Act solves the problems of denial because of pre-existing conditions, premiums people cannot afford, and the “insurance trap” which forces people to remain in jobs purely in order to receive health care coverage.

As Mary Fallon pointed out, the Affordable Care Act will help the economy. The Congressional Budget Office Report, frequently distorted by Republicans, shows that the Affordable Care Act will reduce unemployment, help decrease the deficit, and allow more people to leave large corporations to start small businesses. The effects of this freedom from the “insurance trap” cannot be scored in a CBO report, but should provide a tremendous boost to the economy.

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