Like when the people at your counter started complaining last year that they weren't getting the yellow Norco anymore and it must be because of Obamacare. Someone who would say something like that is a demonstrable idiot, and you know it wherever you fall on the political spectrum. I'm trying here to keep you from looking like that guy. Doing you a favor really. You should thank me.
Thank me even though it may seem at first like I'm being a bit condescending. Stick with me though, because the journey to a reality-based reason to hate Obamacare is fraught with peril. You may be making an effort to educate yourself about the issue by tuning into what passes for TV news in this country these days, and while that effort should be commended, sadly, it is not enough. Watching the shout shows is likely to leave you convinced that Obamacare is a threat to the sacred free enterprise system itself, as it becomes obvious that small business across the nation have been crippled under the weight of onerous regulation. Here's what an actual journalist wrote about the experience:
I happened to turn on the Hannity show on Fox News last Friday evening. “Average Americans are feeling the pain of Obamacare and the healthcare overhaul train wreck,” Hannity announced, “and six of them are here tonight to tell us their stories.” Three married couples were neatly arranged in his studio, the wives seated and the men standing behind them...
For those of you unaware, Hannity is one of the leading current affairs commentators on the television today. His ratings the envy of many an aspiring journalist.
As Hannity called on each of them, the guests recounted their “Obamacare” horror stories: canceled policies, premium hikes, restrictions on the freedom to see a doctor of their choice, financial burdens upon their small businesses and so on.
“These are the stories that the media refuses to cover,” Hannity interjected.
Well they certainly are covering it now. Hannity is on the Fox News Network, on which millions of Americans depend for their information. He is the very essence of today's mainstream media. Back to the journalist:
I decided to hit the pavement. I tracked down Hannity’s guests, one by one, and did my own telephone interviews with them.
First I spoke with Paul Cox of Leicester, N.C. He and his wife Michelle had lamented to Hannity that because of Obamacare, they can’t grow their construction business and they have kept their employees below a certain number of hours, so that they are part-timers.
Obamacare has no effect on businesses with 49 employees or less. But in our brief conversation on the phone, Paul revealed that he has only four employees. Why the cutback on his workforce? “Well,” he said, “I haven’t been forced to do so, it’s just that I’ve chosen to do so. I have to deal with increased costs.” What costs? And how, I asked him, is any of it due to Obamacare? There was a long pause, after which he said he’d call me back. He never did.
Facts. Remember when news outlets valued them?
Next I called Allison Denijs. She’d told Hannity that she pays over $13,000 a year in premiums. Like the other guests, she said she had recently gotten a letter from Blue Cross saying that her policy was being terminated and a new, ACA-compliant policy would take its place. She says this shows that Obama lied when he promised Americans that we could keep our existing policies.
Allison’s husband left his job a few years ago, one with benefits at a big company, to start his own business. Since then they’ve been buying insurance on the open market, and are now paying around $1,100 a month for a policy with a $2,500 deductible per family member, with hefty annual premium hikes. One of their two children is not covered under the policy. She has a preexisting condition that would require purchasing additional coverage for $600 a month, which would bring the family’s grand total to around $20,000 a year.
I asked Allison if she’d shopped on the exchange, to see what a plan might cost under the new law. She said she hadn’t done so because she’d heard the website was not working. Would she try it out when it’s up and running? Perhaps, she said. She told me she has long opposed Obamacare, and that the president should have focused on tort reform as a solution to bringing down the price of healthcare.
I tried an experiment and shopped on the exchange for Allison and Kurt. Assuming they don’t smoke and have a household income too high to be eligible for subsidies, I found that they would be able to get a plan for around $7,600, which would include coverage for their uninsured daughter. This would be about a 60 percent reduction from what they would have to pay on the pre-Obamacare market.
This is what I'm trying to save you from my friends. This person was so convinced by the right wing echo chamber of the evils of Obamacare that she never even bothered to look before shooting off her mouth. She was more willing to go on national TV and spread the bullshit she'd been eating than to put any effort into finding out the truth and saving 60% on her health insurance costs in the process. I bet she wants the yellow Norco because it works better.
Don't be like this person.
But what's a loyal right-wing Obama hater to do when it comes to the challenge of opposing this law using the reality based world? To be honest, I'm not sure how much I'll be able to help you here, but for the sake of a civil debate that may serve the purpose of improving our public policy, let's do a little exploring and see what we can come up with.
I guess you could say the website sucks. That is an undisputed fact. But what you're really saying if you go down that route is that you want Obamacare to work better. So even though that seems to be the only thing Congressional Republicans have left in their arsenal after their delightfully suicidal shut down the government and piss everyone off maneuver, I'm not sure how far that'll get you, even though you will be miles ahead of that Hannity moron.
Here's an idea. You could say that Obamacare was an incredible wasted opportunity to implement the reforms our healthcare system really needed. That by leaving the insurance companies that have earned the hatred of their customers through so many types of abuse in charge of coordinating health care, it is the ultimate corporate welfare law. Forcing us to give our dollars to soulless, for profit entities with no care other than getting an extra nickel per share profit over last year, when we could have used far fewer dollars to create a public, single payer system which would be far more efficient and provide better outcomes than the numbnuts at Humana and the rest of their ilk could ever dream of.
Definitely fact based. Medicare has been shown time and time again to be more efficient with your tax dollars than Humana's ilk ever is with the ones they take from your payroll check. And I don't think even Hannity could come up with a panel willing to sing the praises of their current insurance plan.
So there's your talking point for those of you used to listening to Rush and having them given to you. You hate Obamacare because it is simply corporate welfare for the companies that have been abusing their policyholders for over a generation now. Say that and you'll never look like the yellow Norco guy. Your gratitude is appreciated but not necessary. A smarter public shall be reward enough for me.
Now, go forth and be less stupid.