Let’s get real about the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), otherwise known as “Obamacare.” First of all, the only problem is with the website, and the website is not the only way to sign up. More than 500,000 new accounts have been set up so far, in a bit more than a half month, with the federal government having been shut down for two weeks. Besides, the reason the website is having problems is because the ACA a huge hit. And even worse for Republicans, it’s a hit with their constituents.
By the way, we on the left predicted these sorts of problems in red states. Too bad the Republicans running many of them (and a number of blue and purple states) seemed to have no clue.
If you live in a state with a GOP governor and legislature, and you’re having a hard time with Healthcare.gov, it’s not Obama’s fault. The reason you’re having problems is because the website is being overloaded. But while reporters breathlessly report the glitches, they largely fail to mention that the only people using the website are those folks who live in the 27 states that decided to thumb their nose at the ACA, and declined to participate. Those people who live in the 23 states who set up their own health care exchanges or formed partnerships are largely having no problems. For existence, in my state of Colorado and my previous home state of Maryland, if I go to the main website and input a zip code, I’m taken to the state websites, where there seem to be no problems getting information or signing up.
People living in Republican-run states are crashing the system, because their lawmakers decided a while back to stick it to the first black President, and because they also reasoned that their constituents wouldn’t like the ACA when it rolled out, anyway. And they were wrong, as usual.
And why wouldn’t they be wrong? Even with all of the whining and complaining about “Obamacare” going on in red states, who in their right mind really thought the vast majority of uninsured residents of these states would decline to take affordable health insurance if offered? Consider these statistics from my article on the governmental incompetence of the Republican Party:
The ten states with the largest number of uninsured, and the percentages are: 1. Texas, 26.1% 2. Florida, 22.4% 3. New Mexico, 21.7% 4. Nevada, 20.8% 5. Georgia, 20.5% 6. California, 20% 7. Arizona, 19.6% 8. Arkansas, 19.2% 9. Oklahoma, 18.1% 10. North Carolina, 18.0%. Source
Combine those numbers with the truth about income in red states:
As of 2012, the ten states with the lowest per capita personal income were: 50. Mississippi, $33,073;49. Idaho, $33,749; 48. South Carolina, $34,266; 47. West Virginia, $34,477; 46. Utah, $34,601; 45. Arkansas, $34,723; 44. Kentucky, $35,041; 43. New Mexico, $35,079 42. Alabama, $35,625 and 41. Arizona, $35, 975. Source
Roughly half the states with the highest number of uninsured are among the states clogging the federal website. Seriously; why would Rick Perry, the governor of the second-largest state in the union, with more than 6 million uninsured, NOT think the ACA would appeal to anyone? For that matter, why would anyone running a red state think their low-income populations wouldn’t jump at the chance to get affordable, subsidized health insurance? Who could possibly imagine that a family struggling to pay $600 a month for a cheap family plan wouldn’t jump at the chance to get the same plan for about $200?
As we’re seeing, the millions of uninsured in the states who opted out of the ACA are flooding the system, as anyone – even an ideologically-driven cretin from a red state – should have predicted. There’s a profound difference between being philosophically opposed to the ACA and being competent enough to handle the possibility that people don’t feel the same as you, and might decide to take advantage of the program.
And keep in mind, the federal government would have paid these states to set up the exchanges. It also seems kind of strange that a political party that is so keen on giving power back to the states would demand that the federal government implement the ACA in their states, doesn’t it? I get that they don’t like the law. But it is the law, and it’s been a foregone conclusion for almost four years now.
There is just no excuse for this level of incompetence. But make no mistake; the incompetence is on the part of Republican governors and legislatures who simply assumed no one in their states would sign up for health insurance.
Yep. They actually thought people struggling to make a living wouldn’t want to pay less for their family’s health insurance. Who is that incompetent, and why would you want them to run your government?