As the Worm Turns

Paul Krugman is not one to exhibit irrational exuberance, so his saying this gives me hope:

I suggested yesterday that we’re probably heading for a turning point in the health reform discussion. Conservatives are operating on the assumption that it’s an irredeemable disaster that they can ride all the way to 2016; but the facts on the ground are getting better by the day, and Obamacare will turn into a Benghazi-type affair where Republicans are screaming about a scandal nobody else cares about.

And it’s already starting to happen.

A CNN poll indicates a majority of Americans still have an open mind about whether the ACA will work, which is remarkable considering the relentless screaming coming from the Noise Machine.

Just to show it isn’t just righties who can be irrational — I give you Lambert and his readers, who still believe we’d have a single-payer health care system today if Obama hadn’t sold us out. Scott Lemieux snarks back.

10 thoughts on “As the Worm Turns

  1. We might have had a single player system today if Ted Kennedy had supported Nixoncare back in the early 1970s; this was a version of Obamacare which Kennedy rejected in search of a single payer solution. The ACA is a bit more conservative than the Nixon plan but the broad features were similar. The system would have had decades to evolve toward a single payer if it had passed when it was proposed.

  2. It’s already working, and benefiting people.

    OK, I grant you this is anecdote, but here goes:

    I have two co-workers whose children, when small, had terrible health problems — one was born without bile ducts and one had a brain tumor when she was 8. Their parents’ lives have been defined by the need to (1) stay in jobs that provided insurance to care for the kids, and (2) save up enough money to help these kids pay for their health care when they aged off their parents’ plans, because they’d never be able to afford it and would be excluded from all insurance because of these pre-existing conditions.

    Both are now able to stay on the parents’ plans til they are 26; and they won’t be excluded because of their pre-existing problems by then. And the parents can start putting some of that dough into their retirement fund, not the kids’ medical fund.

    I call that success.

  3. Is Peter V Lee, ObamaCare’s California Savior?

    Covered California’s executive director can be pleased that, as of mid-November, nearly a third of all Americans who signed up under the new healthcare law were Californians. As California goes, so goes this national experiment, most experts say.

    …”I was in Fresno, San Diego, Long Beach, Santa Ana. The interest and support we’re seeing are so at odds from the national news coverage, which is all about glitches and terminations. That’s not what I hear”…

    …”Every time we share numbers, we share real people’s anecdotes as well. Starting in January, you will never see an actor in any of our materials. It’s going to be real people.

    I’m not Pollyanna, [but] people are grateful, they’re telling their friends. Some people are seeing price bumps and I wish that weren’t the case, but the fact is we are enrolling thousands of people every single day”…

  4. Yeah, that group of the usual suspects – but ESPECIALLY Joe Lieberputz – (Former Squishy D, Then R – Harford CT Insurance Companies)!

    What’s gives me some optimism is the newer batch of Democratic Senator, like Brown, Merlkey, Warren, Gillibrand, Murphy, etc.

  5. Steve Kornacki is doing a good report on numbers of people getting into ACA policies right now. He is subbing for Rachel Maddow, and the report is about insurance, not about web site snark. How refreshing: news about what is actually happening.

  6. Stores Selling ObamaCare Policies Popping up Across California:

    As shoppers hunt for holiday bargains this season, they may find something unusual for sale at the mall: Obamacare.

    With enrollment deadlines looming, California officials, insurance companies and agents are staking out retail space to sign up thousands of people as part of the Affordable Care Act. These sales tactics reflect how dramatically the healthcare law is changing the insurance industry.

    Until recently, most health insurance companies and agents didn’t put much time into selling policies to individuals and focused more on catering to employers and large groups in the workplace. But the health insurance mandate and billions of dollars in federal premium subsidies have made individual policies a far more attractive market.

    California’s health insurance exchange and other government-run marketplaces are rushing to sign up people by Dec. 23, the deadline to have coverage in effect Jan. 1. Open enrollment lasts until March 31.

    A state lawmaker and union organizers last week opened a mall store in a predominantly African American area of Los Angeles. In Orange County, insurance agents are signing up dozens of people each week at Laguna Hills Mall, and healthcare giant Kaiser Permanente has rented five retail locations in Northern California to sell exchange policies.

    The Covered California exchange has posted solid enrollment since opening Oct. 1, primarily through its website and call centers. It has signed up nearly 80,000 people in private health plans through Nov. 19 and an additional 135,000 people have applied for Medi-Cal, the state’s Medicaid program for the poor.

    But the exchange estimates that about 80% of people will want in-person help to figure out their insurance options. Rather than set up storefronts itself, Covered California has focused more on training people who then go out to farmers markets and health fairs to promote the exchange and do enrollment…

  7. This is very much what I asked for yesterday about real numbers. I had doubts that the noise machine can actually turn back Obamacare or that the public is all that prone to accept the overheated rhetoric. This line in particular from the CNN article –

    “Those figures are little changed from a CNN poll a month ago, just two weeks into the rough start up of…”

    Krugman points out – the web site is working (not perfectly – but 90%) and improving – many who are signing up are finding better health care for much less money. Those stories are getting out. And the group who is the strongest supporters, young people, is the group the GOP was counting on to defy AHC and opt out to destabilize the financial projections.

    I don’t think the hysteria on the right will be enough – this is going forward and it will work. That’s what the GOP is afraid of, and I think they have lost. An added benefit may be that they will pile on this issue for years to come, despite the polls and the evidence that real people have over the next few years. It may be several election cycles of failure before they raise the white flag. (you will know the white flag is up when the GOP declares that Obamacare was their idea in the first place. (I am willing to take bets that within 5 years a major republican candidate for Congress or POTUS makes that claim.)

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