Despite setbacks, Obamacare still Just what the Doctor Ordered

Charles Krauthammer really hopes that one glitchy new website will spell doom for Obamacare specifically and  the “social-democratic brand of American liberalism introduced by Obama, of which Obamacare is both symbol and concrete embodiment.”

If only it were that simple. For all the talk about the death of the Republican party, the chaos and dissent within their ranks, the ideological splits between the Tea-Partiers and the more traditional conservatives and the childish strategies they’ve been employing lately by shutting down the government, Krauthammer would have you believe the opposite is true: it’s the Democrats who are out of touch and it’s their death knell sounding across the land.

But the country is changing, demographically, culturally and like it or not, politically.  Despite the rocky transition to a new health care system, that’s not going to change. The new America is multi-cultural, progressive and is shedding its knee-jerk phobia of government social programs.

Everyone is saying the President made a promise he couldn’t keep: “if you like your health care plan, you can keep it”. At the time that meant if you already have good insurance provided by your employer or even just purchased privately, you don’t have to worry about “signing up for Obamacare”. You’re already set. If you don’t have insurance, however, the new exchanges will make it easier for you to get insurance, –and not crappy insurance that doesn’t cover anything, but decent insurance that has to meet the new standards. And while, yes, it’s now going to be obligatory that you have insurance, the government will help you pay for it if you can’t afford it.

So now the insurance companies are cancelling the plans that don’t meet the new standards. All plans now have to cover maternity, for example. If you had one that didn’t, it’s no longer going to exist. But here’s the kicker: you’re going to get a better plan, meaning one that covers more things, meaning you can get MORE health care, not LESS and if you can’t afford it, the government is going to help you pay for it.

Change is difficult but in the long run, we’re building a better system for providing for the health of our citizenry. Nobody liked to hear about people losing their homes and their entire life savings because they got sick. The old system was not only cruel, it was unsustainable. How did that system compare with the rest of the world? We spent more on health care than other countries with similar levels of economic development and we got less for it. We can do better and the Affordable Care Act, while not perfect, is at least a step in the right direction.