Today’s Political Problems Could Turn Around As People See The Benefits Of Obamacare

It is getting rather tedious to see the same headlines everyday in which Obama’s approval ratings are going down when in reality we are just seeing different pollsters measuring the same phenomenon. It is questionable as to whether this will persist considering that people are primarily echoing what they have heard about a greatly exaggerated problem along with exaggerated accusations of lying. Only a small percentage of the country are actually adversely affected–the small percentage which receives insurance on the individual market and will not qualify for subsidies. Even those of us who will have to pay higher premiums will generally receive better coverage (possibly saving money) and at very least will have one important benefit–insurance which cannot be lost due to developing expensive medical problems. When most people find that they are better off under the Affordable Care Act, the polling results might become quite different.

There was one sign of hope today. With all the adverse (and often erroneous) coverage of the problems faced by Obamacare, one might predict that Americans would support Republican efforts to repeal it. Maybe they can succeed on the 50th vote. A United Technologies/National Journal Congressional Connection Poll shows increased skepticism, but continues to show that the public continues to oppose efforts to repeal it by a similar margin as last summer.

Now that there is increased attention being paid to the Affordable Care Act, Democrats should take advantage of this and fight their tendencies to go into hiding or move to the right. This is the time to reiterate the reasons why we need the Affordable Care Act. Despite its problems, it is far preferable to the previous situation where people with medical problems could not purchase affordable insurance, and insurance companies on the individual market would drop people who develop expensive medical problems once they do become sick. Those who obtained insurance through large companies might not be at as great a risk of having their coverage dropped as those on the individual market–providing that they remained healthy enough to continue working and continue their coverage.

Currently some people are losing their coverage, with most being offered better plans which will cost them less from the same  insurance company. If they liked their previous plan, they should take a better look at all of its limitations compared to the new plans before worrying about having to change policies. We are certainly better off than those who lost insurance in the past, frequently being unable to obtain replacement coverage due to having per-existing conditions.

Meanwhile, despite all the negative noise,  enrollment is surging in many states which set up their own exchanges–as was intended under the Affordable Care Act. When the exchanges don’t work well, people are right in blaming the Obama administration for this failure, but quite often they should also blame their Republican-run state governments for failing to set up exchanges in their states.

Republicans hope that people will see the, hopefully short-lived, problems with the Affordable Care Act as reason to reject the Democratic Party and reject the idea that Americans are capable of pooling our resources to accomplish great things, as we have done in the past. There is the danger that people will see this false lesson. With today’s Republicans in charge, Americans would have never made it to the moon, or win two world wars. There is also the possibility that people will begin to understand how many of our problems stem from Republicans refusing to participate in responsible governing, damaging the economy and trying to sabotage health care reform without having any sensible policies to offer.