As we get nearer and nearer to the day when the Republican dream comes true and they
screw 35 million Americans out of their healthcare repeal the Affordable Care Act, Republican politicians and pundits all over the country are screaming and yelling to constantly remind us what a massive failure it has turned out to be. Except it hasn’t.
Micheal Hiltzik with the Los Angeles Times has written about why all the Republican shouting on Obamacare is, in his own words, “fatuous gobbledygook.”
Congressional Republicans, evidently hoping that by repeating an untruth they’ll convince American voters, and perhaps themselves, that it’s a truth, on Wednesday said the Affordable Care Act has “failed.”
The undistilled version of this view came from House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), who emerged Wednesday from a meeting with Vice President-elect Mike Pence to assert: “This law has failed. Americans are struggling. The law is failing while we speak. … Things are only getting worse under Obamacare. … The healthcare system has been ruined — dismantled — under Obamacare.”
Every one of those statements is demonstrably untrue. How do we know this? We know because every measure of healthcare spending, access and cost has improved since the passage and implementation of the Affordable Care Act. Timothy McBride of Washington University in St. Louis has done the heavy lifting of pulling together the relevant charts and graphs, and posting them online in a series of 12 tweets compiled on Storify. We’ve culled some of the most important, and present them here.
We should add, first, that Ryan also pledged, once the GOP repeals the law, to “make sure that there is a stable transition to a truly patient-centered system. We want every American to have access to quality, affordable health coverage.”
This is nothing but fatuous gobbledygook. The GOP has had six years to come up with an alternative plan, and never has done so. Its current strategy is to repeal the Affordable Care Act now, and then cook up a replacement sometime in the next two, three, even four years. (They can’t even agree on a time frame.) What exactly is a “patient-centered system,” anyway?
Here are the charts proving the success of Obamacare:
First, the overall uninsured rate has plummeted –
The Uninsured rate was especially pronounced among lower income families –
Republicans love to claim that even if ACA brought down uninsured rates, policy holders had trouble seeing a doctor. This is also a lie –
Uncompensated care costs fell from an average 4% of operating costs before the Affordable Care Act to less than 2% afterward, a decline worth tens of billions of dollars nationwide –
Overall national health spending has come down faster than expected as well –
The average growth in per-enrollee spending by private health plans in key categories has slowed materially since the passage of the Affordable Care Act –
Finally, even though employer-based insurance hasn’t yet been directly affected by the Affordable Care Act, there seems to be a spillover effect from the overall reduction in healthcare spending growth –
Next time you hear a Republican screaming at you about what a failure Obamacare is, you can show them these charts, with the slim hope that they might actually understand them.