Madison
66° F
Overcast
Overcast
Advertisement

Wineke: Obamacare’s ironic title

By William R. Wineke, Special to Channel 3000
Published On: Aug 08 2013 04:51:57 PM CDT
Bill Wineke

Twenty years from now, when national health care is seen to be part of the nation’s essential fabric, it will still be called “Obamacare.”

That, to me, is the big irony of the Republicans’ ever more desperate campaign to destroy national health insurance and make sure that the 30 million Americans who are not covered now, never become covered.

The real name of the law is the Affordable Care Act. It is not really the work of President Obama or, even, of Democrats. It is the legacy of Mitt Romney’s tenure as governor of Massachusetts. It is a fairly conservative program that relies on traditional health insurance companies to provide coverage.

The only reason we call it Obamacare is that the Republicans insisted on doing so and, then, consistently lying about what it will and will not do (hint: there are no “death panels” in the law).

By linking President Barack Obama’s name to the law and by warning the republic will fall into Socialism and collapse because of it, the Republicans did succeed in making the term “Obamacare” quite unpopular with the public, even though opinion polls consistently demonstrated the public actually like what the law does.

But, here’s the thing: the Affordable Care Act is not a proposal. It is the law. It has been the law for a couple of years. Most of its provisions have now been implemented. No one has been hurt and millions of us have been helped already.

This is making the president’s opponents frantic. The House of Representatives has voted 40 times -- 40 times! -- to repeal the law or make it impossible to implement. We now have potential presidential candidates insisting they will shut down the government unless the funds needed to further implement the law are denied.

They will fail.

Next year, the Affordable Care Act will make it possible for people who are not now covered by health insurance, either because it is too expensive or because they have preexisting conditions, to purchase insurance.

States with enough compassion and intelligence to embrace the law will find all sorts of benefits associated with the fact the law will expand Medicaid coverage at no cost to the states. States, like Wisconsin, that prefer that their poor go uninsured rather than participating in the law of the land will find their health care providers saddled with sick patients who have no means to pay for their care.

But the law will be implemented. Hospitals, medical clinics, insurance companies, everyone involved in providing health care have based their long-range planning on the Affordable Care Act. It is the law.

It is going to be as important to our social fabric as Social Security and Medicare.
Twenty years from now, it will be wildly popular and will be seen as Obama’s biggest and best legacy. And it will be called “Obamacare.”

We can thank his Republican opponents for that.

Advertisement
  • iOS 8

    From Apple

    Best new Apple iOS 8 features

    Apple's iOS 8 is here, and it's packed with slick new features. Take a look at some of the best changes to the latest version of the popular mobile operating system.

  • Testing for Ebola

    REUTERS/Misha Hussain

    Common myths about Ebola

    At least eight Ebola aid workers and journalists were reportedly murdered in a remote village in Guinea in a brutal example of growing distrust locals have of foreigners coming to help stem the mushrooming health crisis. Take a look at common myths about the deadly virus.

  • Police lights file 2

    Ridiculous 911 calls

    Have you ever considered calling 911 because of a massive spider in your house? How about because a McDonald's employee got your order wrong? Take a look at some of the strangest reasons people have recently called 911.

  • C3K-EVENTS

    Events calendar

    Looking for something to do? Visit Channel 3000's events section featuring dining, food, music and family-friendly events throughout Madison and the surrounding area.

  • Get your weather app

    Channel3000.com and WISC-TV3 deliver local forecasts, live radar, school closings and alerts for Madison and South Central Wisconsin to iOS or Android devices.

  • Learn more about WISC-TV

    Meet the News 3 staff, learn about our newscasts, search our job postings and find out how to contact us.

Advertisement