Affordable Care Act supporters wave signs outside the Supreme Court after the court upheld court's Obamacare, June 25, 2015. 
Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call/AP

‘Obamacare’ opponents fall on hard times

If you’re desperately waiting for the Affordable Care Act to fail, and for the entire Obamacare-based American system to collapse, this week must be crushing.
The number of people without health insurance has declined by 15.8 million since ObamaCare’s coverage expansion took effect, according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The National Health Interview Survey finds that the number of uninsured people has declined from 44.8 million in 2013, before ObamaCare’s coverage expansion took effect, to 29 million in the first quarter of 2015. The uninsured rate fell from 14.4 percent in 2013 to 9.2 percent in 2015, according to the CDC.
To be sure, it’s an arbitrary threshold, but the fact that the uninsured rate has dropped to single digits is both encouraging and historic – since public officials began keeping track, it’s never been this low in the United States.
Looking closer at the data, note that the CDC data is based on surveys conducted between January and March. In the five months since then, it’s likely the uninsured rate has improved a little more – Charles Gaba pegs the figure at about 8.8%.
And this wasn’t the only bit of good news. NBC News reported that the latest figures from the National Center for Health Statistics pointed to fantastic news on expansion of the availability of coverage, and a new report from the Rand Corporation research group found similar results.
Also this week, new evidence makes clear that the ACA has not undermined job growth, further disproving one of the key Republican talking points on health care.
At a certain point, at least some opponents of the law should probably say to themselves, “We fought the good fight, but the darn thing is working.”
The Affordable Care Act’s principal goal was to bring health security to those who lacked it, and on this front, Obamacare is a great success. But it’s not the only metric that helps prove the system’s efficacy.
Customer satisfaction rates are excellent. Medicaid expansion is on track. The ACA is becoming more popular. Even the ACA’s price tag is lower than expected;
At last week’s big Fox News debate for the Republican presidential candidates, Obamacare barely came up – which only helped reinforce the fact that the controversy surrounding the law has lost its political potency.
When conservatives condemn the system as some kind of horrible failure, the appropriate response is laughter, not scorn.