#Realtalk 1: The Affordable Care Act

I’ve decided that #Realtalk is going to be what I call unpopular opinions I have.
I’m not a fan of the Affordable Care Act, which apparently is something you’re not supposed to say because that makes you a conservative or whatever.
 
But I’m not, and I’m really over people trying to say stupid stuff like “you just don’t care about other people” when I say I’m not a fan of it. I’m over this hard-on the nominal left has over Barack Obama and his presidency–completely overlooking the substance of his policies and who they ultimately benefit in favor of “SEE?!?!! WE HAD A BLACK PRESIDENT WE WERE MAKING CHANGES.”
Because I’m pretty much going to have to deal with this bullshit for the rest of my life, I’m just going to put this here.
I’ve said, repeatedly, that the Affordable Care Act accomplished some nice things in the short-term: that more people are insured now than ever before, and that insurance companies can’t use preexisting conditions to not cover people.  That was cool in 2011, when the Marketplaces opened up and people who had to buy insurance rushed to find it, because insurers wanted a piece of that money and kept their prices manageably low.  However, the fact that the ACA is basically just a Republican wet dream made reality by a Democrat president made me constantly aware of it, and why it’s not a particularly good idea in the long run.
The mandate itself is the worst part, because all it mandates is that Americans be able to purchase health insurance.  That’s it.  It mandates that insurers not use pre-existing conditions as a means to deny people health insurance; it doesn’t, however, mandate that insurers offer everyone affordable insurance, nor does it mandate that health care providers accept that insurance.  The fact that premiums for Marketplace plans are rising makes the one saving grace of the plan–the fact that more people are insured now because of it–something of a hollow victory.  But, then, hollow victories are kind of the Democrats’ stock-in-trade.
Am I concerned that the Act is about to be repealed, with no clear replacement in sight coming from our new Republican overlords?  Sure, but I’m not especially heartbroken about it.  The nominal left and Democrats should have seen it coming, frankly; they couldn’t maintain a Congressional majority with arguably the most popular President in history, and spent virtually no time trying to make the Affordable Care Act something that would do much more than make insurance companies rich.  If the Democrats had, for instance, left the public option in, they’d have basically made a repeal-proof piece of legislation; there is literally no way the GOP could have denied people health care and torpedo so many government jobs without losing the White House for the rest of our natural lives.  But, with the way the law is presently written, the GOP can spin a repeal to make them look like heroes.  Fortunately(?), they seem more interested in just repealing it, which would hurt them if the Democrats weren’t so interested in blaming Russia for everything these days.  Shit, they might even blame Russia for this.
But the bottom line is that, despite the terrible things that can and will likely happen if/when the ACA goes away, I’m not heartbroken about it.  I’ve got a grim outlook on things in general.
“How can you be so callous?”  I hear from the nominal left.  To that, I say again: where were they when people that look like me run the risk of dying in random traffic stops?  Where is their liberal outrage when that was on the line?
Funny, how triage seems so cruel when you’re on the other side of it.
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