We would miss Obamacare

We would miss Obamacare

[Ed. – What do you mean ‘we,’ white man?]

Will it take the repeal of the Affordable Care Act or its evisceration by the Supreme Court for us to appreciate what it’s actually done?

Critics of the ACA are so insistent on pointing to the problems it has encountered — erroneous tax information to 800,000 taxpayers is the latest — that it was especially enlightening on Friday to talk with Sylvia Mathews Burwell, the secretary of Health and Human Services.

You might think of her as a wonk with a heart. She refers to her agency as the “Department of the Kitchen Table” because the issues it deals with, from health care to food safety to the problems facing elderly parents, are the sorts that we discuss at breakfast or dinner.

What does Obamacare mean at many of those kitchen tables? Because of the law, at least 10 million fewer Americans are uninsured — and that’s a conservative number. The drop in the nation’s uninsured rate is the largest since the early 1970s, when Medicaid was still taking hold and both Medicare and Medicaid were expanded to cover people with disabilities.

These aren’t just government numbers. Here is what Gallup said in January: “The uninsured rate has dropped 4.2 percentage points since the Affordable Care Act’s requirement for Americans to have health insurance went into effect one year ago.”

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