But here's how it really works
Republicans and their allies are making a lot of different arguments about what Obamacare is doing to America. It’s hiking premiums! It’s making people lose their doctors! It’s destroying Medicare! But if you listen closely, you’ll discern a common theme—a message aimed squarely at the middle class: Obamacare is taking away your money or health insurance, and giving it to somebody else.
CBS News released a devastating poll on Wednesday: “President Obama's job approval rating has plunged to the lowest of his presidency… and Americans' approval of the Affordable Care Act has dropped to its lowest since CBS News started polling on the law.” Other polls have been equally dismal.
Bill Clinton has been one of Obamacare’s most effective advocates—the "Secretary of Explaining Things," as President Obama famously called him. But in a new interview already getting attention and sure to get more, Clinton didn't explain things very well. He made a statement that's likely to create some misimpressions about the possibilities of health care reform, while giving the administration and its allies yet another political headache. But maybe it's also an opportunity to have a serious conversation about the law's tradeoffs—the one that should have happened a while ago.
Today it’s a few hundred thousand people. By next year, it will be at least a few million. Their health insurance status is changing dramatically: What they have in 2014 and beyond will look nothing like what they had in 2013 and before. For many of these people, the difference will be hundreds or even thousands of dollars a year. In a few cases, it may be the difference between life and death.
What political pundits ignore: McAuliffe wants to expand Medicaid, which means 400,000 more people will get health insurance there under Obamacare.
President Obama was in Boston on Wednesday—not to watch a baseball game, but to send a message about health care reform: The idea really works. Given all the news about Obamacare lately, it’s a message the country very much needs to hear. The template for the Affordable Care Act is the reforms that Massachusetts officials enacted in 2006.
Republicans are outraged that some Americans must give up their current insurance plans because they don't satisfy Obamacare's new regulations for benefits and pricing. Partly they are mad at President Obama, because he repeatedly said people who like their coverage would get to keep it. And that’s fine. As I said yesterday, Obama should have said "most" people, not "all" people.
October 1 is less than two weeks away. And if you have followed the coverage of Obamacare, then you have heard a lot about that date.
House Republican leaders finally have a plan. On Wednesday, at a meeting of the party’s full caucus, Speaker John Boehner announced how he intends to approach the two big fiscal issues on the agenda—funding the government past October 1 and authorizing the Treasury to borrow money so it can pay the government's outstanding bills.
Most of the Obamacare press coverage on Monday was about a pair of polls—one from the Pew Center for the People and the Press, the other from NBC News and the Wall Street Journal. Obamacare detractors seized on the fact that majorities said they disapproved of the law—and that opposition to the law seemed, if anything, to be growing.