Commentary on current events, politics, government, and popular culture from John Sheirer, author of the book, Make Common Sense Common Again.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Obamacare Works for Working Americans

“Obamacare is just another giveaway to lazy people,” he explained.

“You paid money for that?” I asked.

“No,” he gushed. “I got it for free!”

Unfortunately, Obamacare doesn’t cover treatment for people who are “irony deficient.”

Obamacare (the Affordable Care Act) isn’t perfect, but it’s now the law of the land that already works for Americas, despite the bumper-sticker mentality of those who attack it and the confused corporate media pundits who bungle reporting on its success. The vast majority of Americans who benefit from Obamacare actually do work, despite my Republican friend’s claim that only lazy people benefit.

Misinformation and misunderstandings about Obamacare are still rampant four years after the law was passed, so we need an accounting that addresses the multitudes of ways the law helps working Americans.

What about all the working Americans with pre-existing conditions who now can’t be denied coverage? That’s thanks to Obamacare. Does my Republican friend think these Americans are lazy?

What about all the working Americans who can now have their kids on their insurance to the age of 26 thanks to Obamacare? Are these Americans lazy? I don’t think so.

Are all the working Americans whose insurance providers must now spend at least 80 percent of income from premiums on actual health care coverage lazy?

What about all the working Americans who will now have no yearly or lifetime limits on what their insurance will cover?

Are all the working Americans who now can’t have their insurance coverage cancelled on a made-up technicality when they get sick lazy?

What about all the working Americans who will now not have to face extra costs and limited coverage just because they’re women? My Republican friend can call those women lazy if he wants, but I certainly wouldn’t. If he does think women are lazy, he should seek counseling because Obamacare is the largest expansion of mental health coverage in American history.

What about all the working Americans who now have no copayments for preventative care?

Are all the working Americans who now won’t get scammed by insurance companies selling junk policies with high prices that don’t provide adequate coverage lazy?

What about all the working Americans who are now guaranteed the right to appeal if their claims are denied?

Are all the working Americans who will now not be subjected to arbitrary health insurance rate increases lazy?

What about all the working Americans who have already saved more than $2 billion in health insurance premiums thanks to Obamacare’s premium-controls?

Are all the working Americans who run small businesses who will now have better, more affordable options for covering their employees lazy?

What about all the working Americans whose employers don’t provide insurance coverage who can now get affordable plans on the healthcare exchanges?

Are all the low-income working Americans who are now eligible for insurance due to the Medicaid expansion lazy?

What about the half a million working Americans who the Congressional Budget Office says can now get affordable health insurance through the exchanges rather than holding onto jobs they don’t want just to stay covered?

What about the half million unemployed Americans who will be happy to work at those half million jobs that people will leave because they can now get non-employer health insurance?

What about the vast majority of unemployed Americans who desperately want to work but can’t get a job in bad economic times? They can now get affordable coverage for themselves and their families thanks to Obamacare.

Are all the working American taxpayers who benefit from the fact that Obamacare cuts the federal budget deficit by billions of dollars over the next decade lazy?

My Republican friend thinks that there’s a laziness epidemic in America, but he’s absolutely wrong. The vast majority of Americans are not lazy. Anyone who thinks they are has blinders that block the view of 150 million Americans marching to work each day.

I enjoy a good bumper sticker as much as my Republican friend does, but my favorites are the ones that are based in facts, not ideological fantasy. Here’s a good one: “Obamacare: Signed, Sealed, Delivering.” The law has been passed, upheld, and is now working for America. Fact, fact and fact.

The people who object to Obamacare the most seem to be the ones who know the least about the law--and the least about our nation. It’s time for Obamacare haters to put away their bumper stickers, stop calling our fellow Americans lazy and join the rest of us in the real world.


Republicans have no credibility on claims of dignity--or anything else.