GOP throws in towel on Obamacare

The following editorial appeared in The (Raleigh, N.C) News & Observer on Wednesday:

Let’s see. Republicans and other conservatives said of the Affordable Care Act, when it was just the proposed Affordable Care Act, that it would bankrupt the county, destroy the health care system and run the federal deficit sky high.

Some GOP critics called up images just shy of proclaiming “Obamacare,” as they liked to call it, a move to socialism that would destroy the country.

But now Republicans in Congress are essentially abandoning their press against Obamacare and their promises to destroy it. Yes, among the tea party darlings such as possible presidential contenders Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas and Gov. Bobby Jindal of Louisiana, Obamacare still remains a red meat issue.

But among other Republicans, there are problems with continuing the attack. In fact, a Republican alternative health care plan, which was a long time coming, contains some of the provisions of Obamacare.

Even a conservative U.S. Supreme Court ruled Obamacare constitutional.

What has happened is that Obamacare has achieved many of its goals. Not perfectly, perhaps, after a rocky start, but it has worked. Over 20 million people have insurance who might not have had it before, some through the health care exchanges in which people find insurance through a government website and others who have signed on for the Medicaid insurance program for the poor and disabled, which was expanded under Obamacare, at least if states signed up for it. (North Carolina’s Republicans rejected the opportunity for 500,000 of their constituents.)

The opposition no doubt hasn’t breathed its last. People like Cruz and Jindal will continue to appeal to voters’ fears in order to get them to line up against their own self-interest, and that ploy will work on some.

But more and more, the American people are realizing that the president Republicans like to demonize has done some good things, the Affordable Care Act first among them.