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By now, we can all recite at least eleventeen reasons why the Affordable Care Act is great for America. Better coverage, lower prices, savings all around. And while we still remain the laughingstock of the civilized world because we don't have universal healthcare like all the other cool countries do, Obamacare is our first significant step in the right direction toward the day when we don't just let people die because they can't afford medical care, so shrug, oh well, FREEDOM.


Not that you need it, but here is yet another reason why the ACA is a real good thing, and gutting or repealing it entirely would be a real bad thing:

The share of poor Americans who were uninsured declined substantially in 2014, according to the first full year of federal data since the Affordable Care Act extended coverage to millions of Americans last year. [...]

In all, about 32 percent of poor Americans were uninsured in 2014, down from 39 percent in 2013. The share of near poor Americans who were uninsured declined to 31 percent from 39 percent. The share of all other Americans who lacked health insurance declined to 9 percent from 11 percent.

This is due, in no small part, to the expansion of Medicaid in states that are smart enough to take federal bucks to do that, so poor Americans can go to the doctor now, hooray. Naturally, the states who have refused to expand Medicaid -- because they are controlled by Republicans who want to protect their citizens' freedom from Big Government to die from lack of healthcare -- have the highest rates of uninsured, but at least their liberty is intact. Woo hoo.

Here is another noteworthy finding from the National Health Interview Survey:

While black Americans under the age of 65 made the biggest gains, Hispanics in the same age group also benefited substantially, with the share of uninsured dropping by nearly 17 percent from 2013 to 25.2 percent. The share of whites who were uninsured fell to 9.8 percent, down from 12.1 percent in 2013.

Pop quiz: If one political party is responsible for expanding healthcare to people who previously could not afford it, despite the hyperbolic objections of another political party, are those people more or less likely to vote for the party that gave them that sweet, sweet healthcare? Yeah, you know the answer to that, and so do Republicans. Which is why they've been hoping Obamacare would fail, or be repealed or overturned, before it had a chance to succeed. As they well know, the Republican Party will not survive if it relies solely on cranky old white guys. Thus, the sad "outreach" in the past few years to the blacks and browns and womens, which is going GREAT so far. And if Republicans succeed in destroying Obamacare, those voters they are so desperate to reach now -- the very people who have most benefited from Obamacare -- are even less likely to heart the GOP in the next election. Or the one after that. Or the one after that. Which is why some Republicans, the ones who are not completely bat poo crazy, are trying to find a way to save Obamacare, even if the Supreme Court grants their wish to gut it, and millions of people lose their health coverage.

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Too bad Republicans didn't support Obamacare -- which, it seems cruel to point out now, but we will because it's true, was based on conservative health care reform plans -- from the beginning. Requiring health insurance providers to offer slightly better coverage, and subsidizing care for more, but not even all, Americans ain't exactly socialized universal health care. Really, it's the bare minimum right thing to do for the bestest most exceptionalist country IN THE WORLD. But at least Republicans wouldn't now be facing the potential catastrophe, completely of their own making, where millions of Americans might lose their care and know exactly who's to blame for it. Oh well.

[NYT]

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