Economy

Republicans Asking for Obamacare "Horror Stories" Got a Big Surprise

July 5th 2017

By:
Mike Rothschild

During the debate over repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act (ACA), Republicans have consistently focused on the idea that the law not only hasn't helped people, but has actively made their health care worse. Republican presidential candidates called it a "job killer," that's "worse than slavery" and even President Donald Trump echoed that language with references to "Obamacare victims."

However, these hyperbolic statements don't reflect how Americans actually feel about Obamacare, with recent surveys finding a majority of Americans support the health care law. In contrast, just 16 percent of Americans support the Republican replacement plan.

This gulf between Obamacare's popularity and the Republican perception of it was on display this weekend, when the Indiana Republican Party wrote a Facebook asking for "Obamacare horror stories."

"We were promised Obamacare would make healthcare cheaper, better, and more available," the post states, "but in reality it's turned out to be the opposite."

Over 7,000 comments poured in from people responding to the post.

But rather than sharing how Obamacare drove up premiums or the horrors of "burdensome regulations," people revealed how the ACA helped them and their families, why they love it, and how desperate they were to see it stay as law.

A constant theme of the responses was how grateful people were to have been able to access health insurance with a pre-existing condition, or to not have faced bankruptcy due to the ACA banning lifetime limits on care.

These people don't see themselves as victims, but as healthy, financially solvent, or even alive because of Obamacare.

Even small business owners, ostensibly suffocating in a haze of regulations and taxes, shared how the ACA improved the situations of their employees, increased their profits, and decreased turnover.

Over the Fourth of July weekend, Republican senators who broke ranks and dared to show their faces in public encountered a constant stream of calls, shouts, signs, and protests all to save the ACA.

Just a few Republican senators interacted with the public at parades or town halls, all of whom have announced their intention to vote no on the current version of the bill.

But that's a stance that could change if the bill is re-written. If Republicans are wavering on their vote on the new bill, they only need to reference the enthusiastic support of red state Indiana to see what they'll be doing to their constituents.