Today, March 23 the Affordable Care Act celebrates its fourth birthday. A controversial four-year-old who has dealt with attempts on its life and scare tactics about its very existence. Through all of that, the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, as the Right tried in vein to paint it in a negative light, has helped millions of Americans and has fulfilled their basic right of affordable and quality healthcare.
The ink had yet to dry on the paper signed by President Obama four years ago, when 13 Republican state attorneys general filed a federal lawsuit. On the heels of that filing came the cavalry from Washington which hoped to do away with the ACA from their own desks.
Jim DeMint (R-SC), Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) and Rep. Steve King (R-IA) introduced legislation to repeal the Affordable Care Act. They could not stand the taste in their mouth of the underprivileged could have access to the same type of quality healthcare that they had available to them at their wealthy fingertips.
On March, 23 1010 Sarah Palin posted a map featuring cross-hairs labeling vulnerable lawmakers’ districts and tweeting, “Commonsense Conservatives & lovers of America: “Don’t Retreat, Instead – RELOAD!” Her message featured a cross-hair on the district of Gabby Giffords. Less than eleven months later on January 8, 2011, Representative Gabrielle Giffords and eighteen others were shot during a constituent meeting held in a supermarket parking lot in Tucson, Arizona. Five people died at the scene. Representative Giffords survived, and while she has improved greatly after the gun-shot to her head, she will never full recuperate.
While the shooting in Tuscon cannot be directly blamed on Ms. Palin it does paint a disturbing picture of ignorance and hubris on her part.
Some Republicans say they still plan to try to repeal the law, and three GOP senators have come up with a plan to replace it, most on the Right acknowledge repeal would require a Democratic-majority Senate to take up a vote on the issue, as well as the president to sign a bill killing it.
Instead, those who dislike the law say they're waiting for it to fail. Failure, experts say, seems just as unlikely as repeal.
That's largely due to provisions of the law to protect insurers if they gain a slew of sick, expensive policyholders through new policies and don't enroll enough healthier customers to make up the difference. There is also too much money to be made by insurance companies for them to allow the law to fail, afterall the ACA is the largest expansion of commercial health insurance in the history of the industry.
So, what are some ways the Affordable Healthcare Act is helping Americans? Check out the attached list.