I may have to subscribe to New Republic just because of Jonathan Cohn. His coverage of Obamacare has been great from the very beginning. If you are going to get your news about the law from one place, he’s the source to go with. He’s insightful of course, but more important, he’s accurate. And that’s something we don’t get much when it comes to coverage of Obamacare.
Yesterday, he wrote, Gallup: Uninsured Rate Is Lowest We’ve Ever Recorded. Of course, Gallup has only been polling about this since early 2008. But that was when the economy was doing pretty well. That was when the unemployment rate was right around 5.0 percent. So that’s when we were somewhere close to full employment. Yet at that time, our supposedly great employer-based health insurance system still left almost 15% of our citizens without coverage.
This number climbed over the following five and half years. I assume this is largely because even as new jobs were created in place of old jobs, they were mostly worse jobs without health benefits. Cohn cautioned us that the numbers are noisy. But the trend is unmistakable. The uninsured rate rose steadily until Obamacare was fully in effect and then the numbers plummeted to a full percentage point below the lowest point they’ve ever been:
It is a mark of Cohn’s seriousness that he noted that being insured is not the purpose of the new healthcare law. The purpose is to allow people to more easily get healthcare and to avoid medical bankruptcy. So the uninsured rate coming down is a good sign but it doesn’t mean anything on its own. But here’s the thing: Republicans have long been fans of coverage alone. That’s why they’ve always pushed high deductible “catastrophic” plans. And that’s not even to mention some of their other favorite policies, like purchasing insurance across state lines that would set up a system where most people got insurance in name only. So they ought to thrilled that the uninsured rate is going down. Right? Right?
Today, Cohn wrote, See How Right-Wing Media “Covered” Obamacare’s Big News Day. Not only is the uninsured rate down, but a study based upon the Massachusetts’ plan that Obamacare is based on shows that the increased access to healthcare is, in fact, saving lives. Great news! The reaction:
This is the very core of why conservatives are generally so ill-informed about what’s going on in the world. Major stories are simply ignored. And no, this is not the same as it is on the left:
And that’s why Cohn, and liberal writers in a general sense, are worth reading. They aren’t going to hide information from you. It’s good news for Obamacare and thus good news for the nation. But because the Republicans are not in power, they see good news for America as bad news. And they don’t report bad news to the true believers who read them.
I wonder about this behavior on the part of conservatives. With Obamacare, they can kind of get away with it because Obamacare will triumph slowly. But the same thing happened during the 2012 presidential election where much of the conservative movement was truly shocked that Obama won re-election. The news sources must have known that a fall was coming. And after the conservative base was so badly informed, it amazes me that they didn’t turn on those news sources. But I guess if Dean Chambers is still “unskewing” reality, there must be something deeply delusional about conservatives.