Happy Obamacare Day


By Michael Bryan

To the critics of the ACA here in Arizona, I present this story, published yesterday, from the NYT:

Kathy Hornbach of Tucson is not wasting any time before using her new health insurance coverage, which took effect on New Year’s Day. Ms. Hornbach, 57, has an appointment with a cardiologist on Thursday for a stress test.

“I’ve had some heart palpitations, and my mom’s side has a history of heart problems starting early,” she said Wednesday in a telephone interview. “So it’s mostly just to double-check that everything is O.K.”

Ms. Hornbach, who has had breast cancer and retired early from the technology industry, said that insurance companies in Arizona had refused to cover her until about two years ago, when she got a policy with monthly premiums of $285 and a deductible of $5,500 a year. Last month, using the federal insurance exchange, she bought a midlevel silver plan with lower premiums and deductible.

“It’s a better policy — lower out-of-pocket, more choice of doctors,” she said. “This is a very happy day.”

The insurance system is now working better – far from perfect – but better, for a real person with real health challenges. That's what the ACA was designed to do; and it's actually doing it.

Obamacare was always designed as a pragmatic approach to reducing the worst abuses and problems of the private insurance system, and to expand our current jury-rigged mixed system of health insurance to millions who could not afford it – or to those who were not ideal customers to the pre-ACA industry.

It's working. It's not perfect – far from it. But it's working for Ms. Hornbach, and millions of others. I now invite Arizona's Republican Congresscritters to explain to Ms. Hornbach and those like her how Obamacare is so terrible we needed to shut down the government rather than allow those millions to benefit? That's exactly the question that needs to be asked of every single Republican running for reelection to Congress in 2014.