The Week That Was – The Affordable Care Act

My pick for the story of the week is the August 1st implementation of a significant part of the Affordable Care Act or “Obamacare,” if you will.

47 million women in this country are now eligible for expanded healthcare services.

Think about it, for 47 million women, to quote Rep. Nancy Pelosi, “being a woman is no longer a pre-existing condition.”  They will pay the same as an equivalent man for their insurance.

For 47 million women there will be no out-of-pocket payments for certain preventive and diagnostic care procedures.

47 million women will have access to contraception, with some religious exceptions, with no co-pay.

There are provisions made for needed maternity care, even counseling for domestic violence where necessary.

These provisions are now added to approximately 30 provisions already in place.  Provisions such as:  No discrimination against children with pre-existing conditions.  Insurance companies cannot drop coverage when a person get’s sick  No lifetime limits on insurance coverage.  Keeping an eligible child on parent’s insurance until age 26.

American’s are [now] better able to see the benefits promised back in March of 2010, when President Obama signed this Act into law.

This moment and those to come, more than a dozen provisions are yet to roll out, are moments some on the right hoped would never come.

Other than the complexities involved in implementation, which has stretched this process out, I can’t help but believe that there were delays built-in, by the right.  I believe that they were hoping that this bill, that became law, could be made unpopular, using distortions and outright lies. (Death panels???)  Or, by bringing multiple challenges before the courts, up to and including the Supreme Court, that the Act could possibly be struck down.

Those on the right knew that the more of the Act’s provisions that were made available to the American public, the more difficult it would be to overturn, repeal or replace.

Imagine what it must have been like, in March when the Act was before the Supreme Court.  Those on the right must have been feeling pretty good about the chance of the Act being overturned when Justice Scalia, and others, raised the “broccoli mandate” question.   Now fast forward to  June 28, the day the Court upheld the mandate (as a tax), keeping most of the Act intact, and they were left  scrambling to find a way to, again, bring down the law, in the court of public opinion.  (Back came the “death panels”)

They realize that with each roll out, with each provision implemented, the American people would appreciate, more and more, what this President’s administration has accomplished, with little or no help from the party on the right.  This legislation was passed, with not a single republican vote [for] in the House and only marginal help in the Senate.

I believe, given the expansive nature of the act, this signature piece of legislation is going to have significant impact, up and down the ballot.  The gains made by the right in the 2010 elections could quite possibly be recovered by the Democrat Party.  All that is required is that the party’s candidates remind the American people [of] what their lives were like before Obamacare.  All that is required is the truth.

Honorable mention went to Gabby Douglas, winner of 2 gold medals in gymnastics at the Olympics.  She won both for team performance and for the overall gymnastic performance.  Congratulations  Gabby!

Have a good week-end.