The Affordable Care Act is providing affordable care. That’s a big problem for its opponents.

September 21st, 2015 at 7:44 am

Over at the WaPo.

One thing I try to bring out in the piece is that importance of a gov’t program that, after a troubled start, found its footing and is having its intended effect, and without the distortions opponents claim. While they can keep calling it a “job killer,” that’s just not defensible.

I’m increasingly struck by how Congressional conservatives, along with the R candidates, are so intent–and so successful–at not talking about what matters to people beyond what I think is a narrow sliver of their base. So, elevating a policy success in a realm that’s very important to families–health coverage–serves as a lamppost on the way back to Factville.

BTW, playing a little defense here, I’m sure some will respond to the piece: “yeah, millions more now have coverage, but it’s lousy coverage and they don’t like it.”

Wrong. From a Commonwealth Fund survey, a few months ago:

A large majority (86%) of people who are currently insured through the Affordable Care Act (ACA) marketplaces or newly insured in Medicaid are very or somewhat satisfied with their new health care coverage, according to a Commonwealth Fund report out today. Nearly seven in 10 (68%) adults with new coverage have used it to get health care, and of those more than three in five (62%) previously would not have been able to obtain or afford that care.

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3 comments in reply to "The Affordable Care Act is providing affordable care. That’s a big problem for its opponents."

  1. The Raven says:

    Well, my family sure can’t afford routine care. For us (and a lot of other people) the ACA is providing better prices on long-term medication and catastrophic care. Which is, I suppose, better than a poke in the eye with a sharp stick.

    Seriously, why defend this piece of garbage and some of the worst companies in the world, which are are now getting even bigger and worser? And how the devil do you expect this awful thing to be a popular success?

  2. John Thees says:

    Yes, the ACA provides good catastrophic coverage. I do not know if The Raven has tried to get routine care, but if he and his family did go the a doctor for routine care, they would find that routine care is not very expensive because the doctor providing the care must ultimately bill The Raven for that care at the insurance company’s negotiated, highly discounted negotiated rate, not the retail rate. Thus, a doctor might charge ratail, $100 for an office visit, but the negotiated rate that The Raven would have to pay would be the negotiated rate which would likely be around $40. Most people are not aware that by having coverage they pay the highly discounted rate negotiated by their insuror with doctors and hospitals. A high deductible does not mean high costs unless a catastrophe occurs.

    • WZ says:

      This is an _extremely_ important point. My extensive experience (in my routine care and my wife’s catastrophic care) makes clear that prices for care and drugs are discounted by half — even when the insurance company was _not_ paying (because deductible was not reached, for example).