Friday, June 26, 2015

Chief among the reasons to celebrate the SCOTUS decision on Obamacare: it works!

Paul Krugman was nervous, as were many of the rest of us, but SCOTUS came through. He lists the successes of Obamacare.

  • "around 15 million Americans have gained insurance."
  • "In states that have implemented the act in full and expanded Medicaid ... the uninsured falling from more than 16 percent to just 7.5 percent"
  • "What about costs? ... premiums remain much lower than expected."
  • "sharp slowdown in the growth of overall health spending"
  • "... there’s no job-killing in the data: The U.S. economy has added more than 240,000 jobs a month on average since Obamacare went into effect, its biggest gains since the 1990s."
  • "... the deficit has continued to decline, and the Congressional Budget Office recently reaffirmed its conclusion that repealing Obamacare would increase, not reduce, the deficit."

Krugman winds up with this.

Put all these things together, and what you have is a portrait of policy triumph — a law that, despite everything its opponents have done to undermine it, is achieving its goals, costing less than expected, and making the lives of millions of Americans better and more secure.

Now, you might wonder why a law that works so well and does so much good is the object of so much political venom — venom that is, by the way, on full display in Justice Antonin Scalia’s dissenting opinion, with its rants against "interpretive jiggery-pokery." But what conservatives have always feared about health reform is the possibility that it might succeed, and in so doing remind voters that sometimes government action can improve ordinary Americans’ lives.

That’s why the right went all out to destroy the Clinton health plan in 1993, and tried to do the same to the Affordable Care Act. But Obamacare has survived, it’s here, and it’s working. The great conservative nightmare has come true. And it’s a beautiful thing.

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