Obamacare is showing good results, so of course let’s scrap it

 (Emma Lee/WHYY)

(Emma Lee/WHYY)

Here’s some good news from the good folks at the Commonwealth Fund.   Obamacare is working pretty well.

Here’s some good news from the good folks at the Commonwealth Fund.

The fund keeps on eye on the health of the American health care system.  And here’s what it reported last week:

In 2014, the number of Americans reporting they didn’t get needed health care due to cost dropped for the first time since 2003. The number of people saying they were having trouble paying off medical bills dropped 14 percent, the first drop since 2005. And the percentage of uninsured adults dropped to its lowest level since 2002.

Gee, wonder what could be driving these happy trends? Could it be the Affordable Care Act?

Could that dastardly, diabolical and tyrannical law actually be working? Of course it could. Not perfectly, of course. Not without the occasional fiasco.

But it’s having some of its hoped-for effects, visibly, measurably.

So of course it’s time for Congress — or that even more partisan body, the U.S. Supreme Court — to try once more to toss the ACA onto the trash heap.  The new Republican Congress will surely vote to repeal Obamacare. The House routinely did so even when the bill never had a prayer in the Senate. So why stop now?

But the real threat is in the courts. A case called King v. Burwell is before the high court. It has to do with an actual blunder in the writing of the health care law. At one point, the act’s prose clearly suggests that subsidies to help people buy coverage shouldn’t be offered in states that use the federal marketplace. Elsewhere in the law, the intent seems to be that they should.

But if you wanted to be a stickler for syntax, you could rule that people in the 27 states on the federal exchange are out of luck. And given that four conservative justices were itching to overturn the law the last chance they got, until Chief Justice Roberts decided to play a longer game, I’d bet on the court being a stickler for syntax.

So a bunch of people might lose a benefit that the Commonwealth Fund has just reported is reducing the anxiety level of working America.

The irony is most of those people live in red states. Their Republican governors refused, our of philosophy or partisan pique, to set up state exchanges under Obamacare.

Doesn’t make much sense. Then again, very little about the crusade against the ACA ever has.

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