The Myth of Obamacare's Demise

Of course a new national program will have some kinks, but that doesn't signal disaster.

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The delays of implementation of certain portions of the Affordable Care Act are being twisted by those on the right as a failure of Obamacare. And nothing could be further from the truth.

We are talking about a program that is brand new and on a national level. The implementation of something new in any business, even in any household, is not an easy task. Have you ever tried incorporating green veggies into your toddler's diet? Hmm...

On a serious note, this is also nothing new. When FDR saw the need for Social Security in the 1930s, it was given to those 65 and older. There have been several amendments to Social Security since that time:

  • In 1939, Social Security was modified to add survivor benefits for a retiree's spouse and children.
  • The Social Security disability system was created in 1956.
  • In 1961, the early retirement age of 62 was applied to all workers.
  • And there were further changes in 1972, 1975, 1983....you get the picture.

    [See a collection of political cartoons on the budget and deficit.]

    Originally, the first Social Security claim paid by the U.S. government was for $22,000 over the course of a woman's lifetime who only paid $22.54 into the system. A far cry from the numbers of today's recipients.

    One of the current "delays," is a one-year delay for employers in providing health coverage to their staff. Keep in mind that this applies only to companies with 50 or more full-time employees and that 96 percent of American employers with that number of staff already provide insurance. So technically, the president is placating about 4 percent of employers who hoped the courts would rule this unconstitutional or that Republicans would repeal it.

    You would think the employers would be jumping for joy, as would Republicans. Keep in mind that this program in one year will be a shared responsibility between the private sector and the federal government. Isn't that less big government?

    So this is not a failure, it is simply a reality. A big country, a new system and some kinks to work out, not the disaster or impending doom the right would have you think. 

    But let me translate. The economy is improved, unemployment is on the decline and jobs are being created, but please please please don't notice. Lets look at the failure of Obamacare. And come to think of it, working out the kinks in such a system kind of sounds like marriage to me.

    • Read Pat Garofalo: IMF Forces More Austerity on Greece in Return for Bailout Loans
    • Read Peter Roff: Employer Mandate Waiver Just the Latest Obamacare Trainwreck
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