Home / General / ACA-Like Reforms In Massachusetts Saved Thousands of Lives

ACA-Like Reforms In Massachusetts Saved Thousands of Lives

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See Adrianna McIntyre and Jon Cohn.

You might think that enacting similar reforms, only with an additional huge expansion of Medicaid, would count as the most important legislative victory for progressives in decades. But remember, when Mitt Romney signed a bill passed by massive supermajorities of Massachusetts Democrats that overrode several of the governor’s vetoes unilaterally enacted it, he infected the whole concept with Republican cooties. Better millions of people die until the Magic Ponies And Ice Cream Castles In The Air Act of Never can be passed than be a sellout, man.

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  • asmallmoose

    Pfft, just thousands? If we can’t make everyone immortal then why even bother?

    • Nobdy

      Obama could have made us all Highlanders but he Didn’t. Even. Try.

      • asmallmoose

        We could all be blobs of pure intellect free from want floating in a warm womb-like plasma but Obama just wants to start wars all over or whatever he gets up to.

        • Theophrastus Bombastus von Hoenhenheim den Sidste

          Drone murder.

          Of scary dark skinned people.

          Because it turns out he’s really good at that sort of thing.

      • DrDick

        Ron Paul would have instituted a National Health system the first day in office!

    • Davis X. Machina

      Half a loaf just leaves everyone hungry. Or something.

    • jon

      Immortality without good medical care is hell on earth.

    • The ACA has done nothing more than further entrench human mortality.

      • asmallmoose

        This makes more sense once you realize Obama is a powerful Necromancer who needs a continuous supply of corpses to better do battle with New Zealand’s official wizard.

      • Captain Blicero

        Speaking of human mortality, while applying for a New York state driver’s license I found out that “Organ Donor” is going to be printed on my license.

        I mean, I believe that being an organ donor is a moral imperative, but I don’t want to be reminded of my own mortality every goddamn time I pull out my driver’s license.

        • zephod00

          I don’t read my drivers license, other people do so no reminder.

    • Captain Blicero

      Just think, had we listened to our moral betters Fredrik DeBoer and Corey Robin et al we could be heightening the contradictions this very moment! The revolutionary vanguard, the re-education camps, single payer, President Avakian, rabble! rabble! rabble!

      apoplectic fit! you guys are all terrible human beings, despicable, drones, ron paul bob avakian elizabeth warren

      convulses

      faints.

  • Nobdy

    I think liberals should push the point that the Republicans are the party of death more. Whether it’s war, executions, or sickness, Republicans support policies that kill people.

    They do like keeping fetuses alive, though. It’s only once they’re born that the Repubs are eager to start knocking them off.

    Oh, I guess if you are in a vegitative state they’ll come help you too. Poors should die in the street of treatable diseases while we pump millions into Terry Schiavo

    -Actual Republican policy.

    • Davis X. Machina

      There’s a significant pro-killing-people segment of the electorate that from time to time produces election successes.

      Take the fundamental depravity of mankind, and give the points. The fundamental depravity of mankind doesn’t always win, but when it wins, it always covers the spread.

      I don’t bet against the Vegas money, or St. Augustine.

    • Tiny Hermaphrodite, Esq.

      But Ramesh Ponnuru told me that demoncRats are the Party of Death (TM) on account of being pro-choice, less religious and more against the death penalty. And he wrote a whole book about it just like Jonah Goldberg. That means something, right?

  • joe from Lowell

    OK, even I’m getting annoyed by the way Scott writes every piece about the ACA into slap at the idiots.

    I know they have it coming, Scott. I know you still haven’t come even close to evening the score from 2009-2011.

    But they don’t matter anymore. Let’s talk about the ACA, not how stupid the firebaggers are when it comes to the ACA.

    • Gwen

      New rule: only talk about how stupid the firebaggers are, if it will convince some of the firebaggers to stop being stupid.

      • Gwen

        And unfortunately the odds of that happening are pretty low.

        I know this phrase conjures all sorts of horrible right-wing asshattery, but I tend to think of this blog as providing a true dose of real Anti-Idiotarianism. Some people just can’t handle it.

      • Captain Blicero

        Please do not adopt the well-worn phrase of smirk mannequin Bill Maher

    • shah8

      Come on, man, have you had a look at Ives Smith’s little blog recently? Firebaggers still got the ammo going…

      • Gwen

        In fairness Naked Capitalism has lots of nice pictures of cute animals. Far more dogs and sea otters there than on LGM.

        Personally, I blame Obama.

      • joe from Lowell

        have you had a look at Ives Smith’s little blog recently

        No. Who is Ives Smith, and why should I give a damn about what he writes?

        • Malaclypse

          She, and pre-2009, she wrote one of the top 5 econ blogs on the web. Now, lambert has guest-posting privileges.

          How the mighty have fallen.

        • Well, she spells it Yves, not Ives. And she’s the one that runs Naked Capitalism, which is pretty well-known.

          • I’ve heard her give interviews about other stuff and she’s still interesting on financial shenanigans. It’s baffling.

            • Malaclypse

              I assume she ran the numbers, and realized grifting paid better than analysis.

              • I’d be pretty depressed about the state of things if it turned out that giving Lambert Strether and Matt Stoller a platform was a profitable activity.

                • DrDick

                  P.T. Barnum was a master of understatement.

    • Kurzleg

      Yes, please. Let’s do.

    • It’s NOT called the “ACA”. There is no such bill. There is the PPACA, popularly known as Obamacare (and even the President calls it Obamacare). You don’t get to assert by fiat that health care is affordable.

      Using junior varsity Frank Luntz spin isn’t going to persuade anyone of your arguments.

      • Captain Blicero

        “Affordable Care Act ” part of the name of the law. What is it with your latest spaz fest about how the name of an act of congress is asserting by fiat that it’s affordable?

        • By omitting to the “Patient Protection” part of the acronym, you’re asserting that healthcare is affordable.

          • Captain Blicero

            I’m not sure if…Poe’s Law?

            • Warren Terra

              Dunno if Jeremy is helpfully trying to explain Dilan’s complaint, is satirically echoing Dilan’s complaint, or actually endorses Dilan’s complaint.

              Dilan himself is sadly not a parody. Or, if he is, he’s the most method SOB there’s ever been.

              • I think “satirically echoing” is what I was attempting. Although, for the life of me, I can’t figure out how I would phrase it differently if I was helpfully trying to explain. I mean, using the acronym for “Affordable Care Act” rather than the one for “Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act” is some sort of underhanded attempt to make it look better? Sure, that makes sense.

        • UserGoogol

          On purely pedantic grounds I get annoyed that “Affordable Care Act” has become a standard name for the law. The actual name of the bill is a bit wordy so it makes sense to abbreviate it, but it’s still the actual name of the bill, and so a small part of me will be unhappy when people say ACA instead of PPACA.

          Of course, the fact that it’s called the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is somewhat of an accident of history. The house bill was called the Affordable Health Care For America Act, and various other names were thrown around during the legislative process, but since Scott Brown got elected they had to use the Senate version so we’re stuck with that name. So with multiple names floating around and this one being picked for legislative reasons, PPACA wasn’t necessarily the most focus group tested of names.

      • joe from Lowell

        Holy crap, is someone parodying Dilan?

        No one would actually write this comment, would then?

        How about “Joe,” Dilan? Do I need to start posting as Joseph from Lowell, MA?

        • junker

          Dilan has been raging pedantically about this point for quite a long time now.

          • Malaclypse

            And yet he never, ever insists Medicare be called Title XVIII of the Social Security Act.

      • Scott Lemieux

        It’s NOT called the “ACA”. There is no such bill. There is the PPACA, popularly known as Obamacare (and even the President calls it Obamacare).

        This is incredibly silly. “ACA” is the more common acronym, but ACA, PPACA, and Obamacare are all perfectly accurate. Also, PPACA also says that health care is “affordable.” I, myself, avoid “Obamacare” because it plays into the regrettable Cult of the Presidency. I don’t think that the CRA would be better called “LBJRights” either.

        • And, c’mon, “ACA” is the easiest to type and read and say, is unambiguous in most contexts, and, as a result of like normal language evolution, is quite common.

          GROW UP DILAN!

      • junker

        That Frank Luntz comment sure is unusual for someone who claims to “only argue on the merits” and wants a substantive conversation.

  • Aimai

    What’s important is to remember the outsize importance that was given to the Oregon study by people like McMegan–and also that you can’t kill a stupid study and its ridiculous interpretation no matter how many obvious, bigger, better, studies come out. On the right it is and always will be an article of faith that access to health insurance and low cost health care simply can’t improve people’s quality of life and their health. My kid is sick right now. We have been in to see the Nurse practitioner once and her doctor once, and then had to go to the pharmacy to get some meds for her. We have health insurance but with a high deductible. The out of pocket costs for her medicine, including the asthma medicine to get her over hte hump of this illness, is going to be around 300 dollars. We can afford it but if we didn’t have health insurance coverage I would never have taken her to see the doctor in the first place. I would have been too terrified to do so.

    • Nobdy

      A doctor was recommended to me by a family friend recently, since I needed a new PCP. I called to make an appointment and the first thing her receptionist asked when I said “Is Dr. X taking new patients” was “What insurance do you have?”

      Fortunately I am among the acceptable and was deemed worthy of healthcare, but as someone who has been uninsured it was a chilling reminder of what healthcare is like in America.

      But, you know, it’ fine to have tens of millions of people uninsured.

    • Warren Terra

      the Oregon study by people like McMegan–and also that you can’t kill a stupid study and its ridiculous interpretation no matter how many obvious, bigger, better, studies come out. On the right it is and always will be an article of faith that access to health insurance and low cost health care simply can’t improve people’s quality of life and their health.

      I’d thought that the Oregon study failed to find a bi impact on health, but it did find a big impact on quality of life?

      • Nobdy

        You mean it increased the comfort of the hammock that lulls people into a life of dependency on the government and prevents them from dreaming?

      • Aimai

        Right, WT, it actually found a small increase in the two health measures it looked at (but very small) and a small but significant increase in the overall wellbeing of the people who were now on medicaid and a decrease in their financial stress. But it was marketed heavily as one of those examples of the uselessness of everything and the futility of doing anything for anyone.

    • you can’t kill a stupid study and its ridiculous interpretation no matter how many obvious, bigger, better, studies come out.

      Indeed. Just ask vaccine researchers.

    • We have health insurance but with a high deductible.

      In other words, Obama gave you shitty health insurance in place of no health insurance. Yes we can, I guess.

      • Aimai

        No you moron–we have employer sponsored health care and it has always had a high deductible. Obamacare just means that many things are now covered automatically and for free that previously we had to pay for.

        • Lee Rudolph

          Well, it doesn’t just mean that. It also mean (at the very least) that you may get a bit of a rebate on premiums if your carrier doesn’t spend enough of those premiums on actual health care.

        • DrDick

          Exactly. My insurance does not have a high deductible/copay, but the ACA has already saved me considerable money by expanding coverage of much of the health care I get (about $600 the first year IIRC).

      • Rob in CT

        Even if this was an accurate summation, and I don’t think it is, it remains true that “so-so” or even “kinda crappy” beats the snot out of “nothing.”

        WTF, Dilan?

      • junker

        Wow, someone’s trolling harder than usual, especially considering that under your approach, instead of some health insurance, most of the uninsured would have gotten none.

  • The ACA will also have the effect of preventing more than a few children’s hospitals from closing their doors. Many were sinking with a case mix of something like a third insured, a third Medicaid, and a third uninsured. Going to maybe half Medicaid and only a tenth or less uninsured throws them a real life ring.

    • joe from Lowell

      This is why I’m sanguine about the holdout states eventually caving on the Medicaid expansion. If their big, urban hospitals close, it won’t just hurt the Medicaid recipients.

      • efgoldman

        If their big, urban hospitals close, it won’t just hurt the Medicaid recipients.

        But the hospitals that are closing in the Medicaid refusenik states are rural, where the folks vote for the GOBP. They are so blinded by hatred of phantom gummint malfeasance that they can’t see the logical connection.

  • You are just puffing up Roberts’ body count. But then as he said at his confirmation hearing, he has the balls to strike calls for precedence.

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