As you’ve probably heard, the Healthcare.gov website is now working quite well. But I had the unpleasant experience of hearing Charles Krauthammer on Fox News yesterday. Do you know what he was saying about Obamacare and Healthcare.gov? Exactly what he was saying a month ago! Now instead of claiming that Obamacare is hopeless because the website wasn’t working, it is that Obamacare is hopeless because it has a 1% error rate. He even had the pea-brained idea that the government can’t do anything right because Amazon is able to manage a much larger flow of traffic with less difficulty. There are a couple of reasons for this. First, Amazon has been in business for almost 20 years. Second, and much more importantly, what Amazon does is trivial compared to what Healthcare.gov does.
The point is that the conservative complaints in general, and the Fox News complaints in particular are of no value. They hate Obamacare and they will attack it no matter what. Their actual argument against healthcare reform is that it taxes the rich and gives health insurance to the poor. But clearly, that won’t fly. Even most die hard Republicans would find that argument repellent. So they use the “government can’t do anything” argument and grasp at any and every problem that comes along. And, let us not forget, they make up problems.
Yesterday, the always great Aaron Carroll wrote, Media Madness, ACA Edition. It was yet another Fox News report about the evils of Obamacare. In this case, it was a couple that couldn’t get insurance for their one and a half year old child because Obamacare mandates that children must be at least two years old before they get insurance. It’s laughable on its face. This is a couple with four children and the insurance company supposedly said, “Father, mother, three kids? Fine. But that toddler? No way!” It turned out that when daddy was filling out the forms, he only listed three of the children, apparently forgetting that he had a fourth.
Of course, that part of the story was not reported on Fox News. Why would it be? It doesn’t make Obamacare look bad. And it isn’t news. I think that everyone knows that if you buy an insurance policy for 5 people, that insurance policy will not cover anyone other than those 5 people. But there’s more to the story. The father is Cornelius Kelly, a prominent member of the Conservative Party of New York State, a group of people who think the Republican Party is too liberal. In 2012, they went after Republicans who voted for same-sex marriage. So clearly, he had an ax to grind against Obamacare.
But that’s the thing: conservatives hate Obamacare. But unlike what they say, they don’t actually think it will be a disaster. They think it will work really well. And that will just show once again that conservatives are against every good policy idea for no reason other than their commitment to enrich the rich and impoverish the poor. But the better Obamacare does, the less we will hear from these people. But it won’t go away completely. There are still conservatives who are trying to dismantle Social Security and that’s been law for almost 80 years!
Carroll noted the following that I think can’t be stressed enough: