Obamacare Myth-Making | The Weekly Standard
As speaker of the Republican-controlled North Carolina House of Representatives, Tillis l ed the opposition to expanding Medicaid in the state under the Affordable Care Act, effectively denying access to healthcare to as many as 500,000 North Carolina residents. He campaigned on that opposition to secure the Republican nomination: Tillis stopped Obamacares Medicaid expansion cold. Its not happening in North Carolina, and its because of Thom Tillis. That message obviously resonates with deeply conservative voters who also put their ideological opposition to the health law ahead of its potential benefits. As Obamacare takes hold, however, and its benefits start becoming tangible quantities instead of abstract political arguments, you have to start wondering when the moral imperative to improve healthcare access will overtake the ideological reasons for rejecting a policy that does exactly that. A study that came out this week looked at the effect the 2006 healthcare reform law in Massachusetts had on mortality rates within the state. The authors found that the passage of the state reform package was associated with a significant decrease in all-cause mortality compared with the control group. Of particular note was their observation that changes were larger in counties with lower household incomes and higher prereform uninsured rates. As Jonathan Cohn observed , the study suggests [Obamacare], implemented effectively, could save thousands of lives a year. Another study that came out this week from the University of Kansas Medical Center found that Approximately 40,000 Kansans would benefit directly from Medicaid expansion by receiving critical cancer screening and prevention services. One of the studys authors said , There are some people who will die of cancer because were not able to screen them or provide them with the prevention services they need. Studies like these provide substance to anecdotal examples of the Affordable Care Act saving lives, like that of Dean Angstadt , the die-hard Obamacare opponent who signed up for coverage just in time to have heart valve replacement surgery. Meanwhile, states that initially rejected the expansion of Medicaid are under pressure to reverse course, putting Republicans who oppose Obamacare in a tight spot.
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Just as your mother said you could not have one without the other, so the popular provisions of Obamacare are linked to the unpopular ones. Sooner or later, the administration will have to enforce the lawor watch a vast array of unintended side effects disrupt the national health care system. Fifth, the left assures us Obamacare cannot be repealed. This is particularly rich, considering all the provisions the administration itself has effectively repealed when it found them inconvenient. Irony aside, Obamacares future is still very much in doubt. Whereas Medicare and Social Security were designed to benefit everybody sooner or later, Obamacare creates vast classes of winners and losers. It is to the losers that many of the suspensions are directed. But the losers will eventually have to suffer the harm that Obamacare is set to deliver.
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