Healthcare Reform is Working

Harold Pollack and Greg Anrig at the Washington Monthly on the president's healthcare reform success:

[S]urprising even to many advocates of health care reform, evidence is emerging that the ACA is already improving life for millions of average Americans. It is promoting long-overdue fundamental changes in our dysfunctional medical system. Moreover, because those reforms are starting to directly address heightened economic insecurities of average families -- the personal financial conditions that will largely determine this year's election outcomes -- President Obama would be wise to more forcefully and more specifically explain how his health care bill is already helping millions of vulnerable families and the country as a whole.

Sure, financially-pressured families will celebrate the derring-do of Seal Team Six. They should directly appreciate the immediate impact of improved insurance coverage and reduced medical costs.

Steve Benen, now writing for Maddowblog, adds:

The health care law (1) is combating fraud and abuse, which in turns saves Americans quite a bit of money; (2) has brought coverage to 2.5 million young adults; (3) is delivering major savings to seniors on prescription drugs; (4) is giving a boost to small businesses through ACA tax credits; (5) has slowed the growth of Medicare spending; (6) has provided new treatment options for cancer patients; and (7) has offered new coverage protections for those with pre-existing conditions.

Also, the Obama administration's mandated that all contraception be covered without deductibles or copays.

Meanwhile, did you know the California Senate voted on a single-payer, "Medicare for All" plan on Monday? It happened. And I didn't hear a word from the usual single-payer-or-kill-the-bill people because they probably didn't even know about it, much less rally in support of it.

The bill failed. By two goddamn votes. Two votes.

This is why we lose. Too many of us are almost exclusively concerned with parroting the agenda of certain activists and their collection of two or three pet issues, so we miss the big picture. California won't get a single-payer healthcare system built into the new structure of the president's healthcare reform act partly because progressives didn't even show up to fight. But we'll scramble over each other to bitch and screech about the "centrism" and "compromised" nature of above list of successes because they're not progressive enough.

It's infuriating.

  • KQµårk™

    Spot on analysis. Thanks to the president any state can no implement the ACA with great flexibility including making a system that includes virtual single payer or public option. Of course emoprogs stopped paying attention when they slated HCR as a lose. We have to face the fact that ideologues on both sides care less about the issues and more about the political game. Emoprogs are great about being against things but are terrible at advocating for progressive change on the ground which is why the right wins battles like these all the time.

  • OsborneInk

    Karoli was on this theme months ago when Vermont passed single-payer: the states are where a single-payer movement can coalesce. Unfortunately, the “movement” was never cohesive, just a bunch of ad hoc organizations and fan clubs. As soon as the ACA passed, they lost interest in promoting single-payer except as a way to assert their progressive cred. What, you expected them to WORK for what they say they want? Nay! They shall have it handed to them on a platter because that’s the hope and change they say they voted for.

  • Ned F

    I’m not surprised the ACA is working. I’d love to see Benen’s statement on the front page of USA Today or the Wall Street Journal than buried in the Maddow blog. Fat chance.
    I had no idea about California’s bill. Never heard or read a peep. Unfortunate, and I’m one who should have, since I pay attention.

    • Madam1

      This progressive Californian just read about this for the first time here on the blog. I read our local paper everyday and pay attention to the news in general and yet had no clue that this was going on. The healthcare issue is a personal interest of mine and I would have gladly written some letters and made some calls. I even testified last year in front of the California Senate regarding high fees and no word from the group I was working with. That’s how little attention this bill got in my state. No wonder it failed! Fuck.

      • drsquid

        There was exactly one guy beating the drum for single-payer in CA at the GOS, and I think I first heard about it a couple of weeks ago when it was still in committee. Thing is, they kept passing it when it was sure to be vetoed by Gov. Schwarzenegger, but now that there’s a governor that’ll sign it, they get cold feet and friggin’ abstain.

        The organizers were not organizing very well for this one. And term limits suck. And so does the 2/3 supermajority.

      • Ned F


      • muselet

        I’m with you. I read the LA Dog Trainer every day (among other news sources) and saw not one word about this. There may have been a misleadingly-headlined squib in “Around the State” or somewhere, but I never saw it.

        Paraphrasing Jayne from Serenity, “Boy, sure would be nice if we had some news media about now, don’tchya think?”


      • andrewdski

        Yep, I came here to write pretty much the same thing. How did this happen?