Republicans have declared over and over again that the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare) would destroy the economy, cost millions of jobs and cost too much for us to afford both individually and as a country. These are the same pundits and politicians who haven’t met a war they didn’t like – and some of them, like Senator Tom Cotton (R-AR), don’t even know that Tehran is the capital city of the very country they want to invade.
It’s pretty frightening when you think about it, but then again, this is par for the course for a party that has spent the last 6+ years doing little else other than to oppose nearly everything President Obama has supported.
Obamacare has been the number one issue that Republicans have focused on and warned that it was a pathway to communism and economic ruin, but a new report from the Department of Health and Human Services proves them all wrong:
A new report from Health and Human Services finds that the uninsured rate has fallen from 20.3 percent prior to the health-care law down to 13.2 percent at the start of 2015. This is a 7.1 percentage-point decrease in the uninsured rate — or, to put it another way, a 35-percent decline in the number of Americans who lack insurance coverage.
“Nothing since the implementation of Medicare and Medicaid has come close to this kind of change,” says Richard Frank, assistant secretary for evaluation and planning at Health and Human Services.
The decline in coverage has coincided with two big Obamacare programs. First, there was the part of the law that required employers to offer dependent coverage up through age 26. Since that program began in 2010, the uninsured rate among young adults (Americans between the ages of 19 and 26) has dropped from 34.1 percent to 26.7 percent. (Source)
Republicans have also complained about the cost, and said it was an expense we could not afford as a nation. Bear in mind that these critics (along with many of their Democratic colleagues) approved two wars that were put on the nation’s credit card. Some of them also gladly signed off on these costly wars and are eager for another one with Iran, but thought that bills for the veterans of those wars were too expensive.
It turns out that their predictions on the cost of Obamacare are also falling well short of the mark.
According to the Congressional Budget Office, or CBO, the Affordable Care Act is on pace to cost $142 billion less, or 11% less, over the next decade than what it had forecast just two months ago. This by no means implies that Obamacare is “cheap” — the law is still slated to cost $1.2 trillion to implement over a 10-year period — but taking into account that the initial estimates of Obamacare’s cost from the CBO were $1.76 trillion over 10 years back in 2012, this is a major forecasted cost reduction in just three years. (Source)
To date, the cost of wars since 2001 has been over $1.6 trillion and you’ll rarely see a Republican claim that these wars are both ridiculously expensive and unnecessary. They also tend to think that the expense of taking care of our own instead of killing suspected terrorists (along with plenty of innocent civilians) is too great because during the Sermon on the Mount, Republican Jesus says “screw the poor, we need more wars so the rich can get even richer.”
Republicans aren’t going to let facts get in the way of attempting further repeals of Obamacare, and they’ll certainly continue to make the same old debunked claims about it because they’ve come too far to turn back now. However, the numbers don’t lie; despite all of the doomsday prophecies from conservatives opposed to the Affordable Care Act, it’s working even better than expected.
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