Critics of the Affordable Care Act seemed awfully excited yesterday, seizing on some pretty minor developments to make a rather poor argument.
By mid-day, the Obama administration had conceded that there would have to be a change in the starting date for small businesses’ exchange marketplaces. “Oh my god!” the right said. “Obamacare is coming apart at the seams!.” Reality suggests otherwise.
The Obama administration on Thursday announced another minor delay in the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, saying that the insurance marketplaces for small businesses would be fully open for enrollment a month later than it had planned.
The key phrase in that paragraph was “a month.” The program was set to launch in October 2013, now it will be November 2013. Why is this important? It’s not. This is exciting only to those who are a little too eager to get excited.
We also learned about a delay of an online resource for those hoping to compare insurance plans in Spanish. “Oh my god!” the right said. “Obamacare is imploding before our very eyes!.” It’s really not.
The White House said Thursday that its Spanish-language health care enrollment tools will not be ready to launch until three weeks after the start of registration on Tuesday.
So the resources that were supposed to be available on Oct. 1 will be available on Oct. 21. It’s just not a big deal.
And then a few hours later, Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) said he agrees with Republicans about a one-year delay in the individual mandate. “Oh my god!” the right said. “Eveb Democrats hate Obamacare! We knew it!.” Try to remain calm.
Folks, the health care law is going to have some glitches. It’s going to hit some bumps. Some elements will work right away, some will need some additional time. But if the anti-healthcare forces jump up and down in response to every minor mishap, they’re going to (a) tire themselves out very quickly; and (b) lose all credibility when real problems emerge that policymakers need to take seriously.
As for why the Affordable Care Act is worth the wait and aggravation, take a few minutes and read Jonathan Cohn’s piece this morning. Clip it, save it, and send it your crazy uncle who watches Fox News all day.