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ACA-Like Reforms In Massachusetts Saved Thousands of Lives

[ 59 ] May 5, 2014 |

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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  1. asmallmoose says:

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

    • Nobdy says:

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

    • Davis X. Machina says:

      Half a loaf just leaves everyone hungry. Or something.

    • jon says:

      Immortality without good medical care is hell on earth.

    • Jeremy says:

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

      • asmallmoose says:

        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 says:

        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.

    • Captain Blicero says:

      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.

  2. Nobdy says:

    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 says:

      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. says:

      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?

  3. joe from Lowell says:

    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 says:

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

      • Gwen says:

        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 says:

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

    • shah8 says:

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

    • Kurzleg says:

      Yes, please. Let’s do.

    • Dilan Esper says:

      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 says:

        “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?

        • Jeremy says:

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

          • Captain Blicero says:

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

            • Warren Terra says:

              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.

              • Jeremy says:

                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 says:

          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 says:

        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?

      • Scott Lemieux says:

        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.

      • junker says:

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

  4. Aimai says:

    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 says:

      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 says:

      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 says:

        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 says:

        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.

    • Chris J says:

      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.

    • Dilan Esper says:

      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 says:

        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 says:

          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 says:

          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 says:

        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 says:

        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.

  5. Chris J says:

    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 says:

      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 says:

        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.

  6. marc sobel says:

    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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