This week, Organizing for Action (formerly Obama for America), the Obama administration’s activism arm, sent around an email asking a terrific question about the Affordable Care Act:
Now that more than 3 million Americans have health insurance — a number that is growing every day — do these Health Care Repealers still want to take it away?
The email went on to state:
I’d love to see a constituent who now has coverage walk up to a Repealer and ask: ‘Do you STILL want to take away my health care?’
This is great framing. Republicans, as usual, are way behind the curve as they continue to run against last fall’s Affordable Care Act website glitches. Take a look, for example, at Bill O’Reilly’s impeachment prosecution in the form of an interview of President Obama during the recent Super Bowl. But, as President Obama explained to O’Reilly, the ACA website glitches were largely fixed, and more than three million people have signed up for health insurance under the ACA, as well as another three million people who get to stay on their parents’ insurance up to age 26 under the ACA, and over six million more people who are now eligible and have applied for coverage through the ACA’s expanded Medicaid provisions. That’s over 12 million people who can be out there selling the Affordable Care Act and the Democrats’ message to their families, their friends and many other potential voters in the 2014 Congressional elections.
The question being framed by OFA — do Republicans still want to take away my health care? — reflects the problem Republicans have had all along in hinging their 2014 election chances on running against the ACA: more people are getting ACA coverage every day, and, as with programs like Social Security and Medicare, once Americans get something that they pay for and which is important to their physical and financial health, they don’t want it taken away. Ironically, for Republicans who consider themselves pro-capitalist, investing so heavily in the depreciating asset of Affordable Care Act bashing is poor capitalism indeed.
Photo by LaDawna Howard, used under Creative Commons license.