The U.S. Supreme Court is hearing oral arguments this week regarding the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, and that reminded me of an Ira Glass introduction to a 2009 episode of NPR’s “This American Life.” Glass examined the collapse of the U.S. banking system – arguably, a dire event that many would have liked not to think about.
Sympathizing with our bad news weariness over the awful truth of the financial crisis, Ira shared a news confession of his own:
“Maybe you are on the verge of just giving up. Figuring this is just one of those news stories that you are just going to kinda sit out. You know? I sat out Kosovo. I am not proud about that fact. But I did.“
I empathize with that feeling, like you want to sit out the re-hashing of health care reform. But get this: 60% of people still don’t even understand how the Affordable Care Act affects them, two years after it was signed into law. (And probably close to 100% of us could probably use a refresher. The Obama administration created a site devoted to helping us understand the changes. The Washington Post’s Ezra Klein also explained health reform on his Wonkblog in a post that is still helpful a year later.)
Whatever you think of the legislation – and in particular, the much-criticized individual mandate – it is critically important to all of us, especially the tens of millions who have gained health care coverage thanks to this law. Creating health care equality needs all of our energy.