Mt. Vernon Register-News

Opinion

November 1, 2013

Obamacare: Mend it, don't end it

Obamacare is under attack. Its website is glitchy, its prices are uneven, and insurance policies that don’t meet its standards are being withdrawn. But President Barack Obama is sticking with it, scolding its Republican critics, and betting that in the long run, he’ll win. He may be right.

Obama’s bet, on a message level, is that the public likes the idea of the Affordable Care Act, even if they’re unhappy with its implementation or some of its features. He’s for something that addresses our health care needs. Republicans, lacking a plausible alternative, offer nothing but obstruction. The law is being implemented. The GOP can’t fight it without, in effect, rolling back coverage and benefits. Changing the law’s details is a popular position. Repealing it isn’t.

Look at the polls. In a CBS News survey taken Oct. 1-2, a majority of Americans — 51 to 43 percent — disapproved of the Affordable Care Act. Only 43 percent, however, said the law went “too far in changing the U.S. health care system.” Thirty percent said the law was about right, and 20 percent said it didn’t go far enough. The plurality supported the law or an extension of it. In an NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll taken Oct. 7-9, 43 percent of respondents said the law was a bad idea. Only 38 percent called it a good idea. But 50 percent opposed “totally eliminating federal funding” for it, compared with 39 percent who favored cutting off funds.

Twenty-one percent of Americans in a Gallup poll conducted Oct. 12-13 said they’d like major changes to the law. Ninteen percent said they’d like minor changes. But only 29 percent said they’d like the law to be repealed entirely.

— less than the 32 percent who took that position three years ago, and not much more than the 24 percent who said they’d like to keep the law as it is.

Text Only
Opinion
  • Sometimes brand-name drugs just work better When you go to the pharmacy for aspirin, do you buy Bayer or the private-label generic alternative offered by chains such as CVS? The price for Bayer's version is more than twice that of CVS's, yet the active ingredient is exactly the same. The choic

    April 24, 2014

  • Conference looks at Obama, democracy Some of America's leading public intellectuals, scholars and activists gathered at Tufts University April 16-18 for the fifth annual Barack Obama and American Democracy conference. Author Michael Eric Dyson's exhilarating opening keynote offered a ri

    April 24, 2014

  • Will losers outvote winners? When it comes to the politics of Obamacare, there's really only one question that matters: How many Americans are benefiting from the new health care system, and how many are hurting? Problem is, we know more about the first part of the question than

    April 24, 2014

  • Why EU is not your dad's Europe The important-sounding Foreign Affairs Council of the European Union has recently reiterated "its strong support for Ukraine's unity, sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity." Poor, destabilized, post-putsch Ukraine is to be congratulated

    April 23, 2014

  • Facebook bank could be disrupting force The company that rebranded the word "friend" may soon take up a more ambitious makeover: the word "bank." Facebook is on the verge of winning approval from Ireland's central bank to allow its users to store and exchange money. The company's plans are

    April 23, 2014

  • Warren's call for student loan reform As commencement season approaches, graduating students will soon hear words of wisdom from speakers offering experience, advice and inspiration. One thing they're not likely to hear about is the $1.08 trillion elephant on the quad -- our nation's stu

    April 23, 2014

  • How we devalued the 'R' word At the risk of angering somebody like MSNBC's Melissa Harris-Perry, I sometimes used to joke that I only look white. Actually, I'm Irish. Meaning basically that I wasn't raised to think the man in the big house had all the answers, nor deserved all t

    April 22, 2014

  • Can Hillary rock the world? WASHINGTON -- There are few happier events than becoming a grandmother, and almost none that says quite so loudly "over the hill." Ageism mixed with sexism is a toxic brew, but somehow tolerated. It's a often-used joke, but not a funny one, that wome

    April 22, 2014

  • Losing hearts and minds Robert Kagan recently wrote that, foreign policy decision by foreign policy decision, President Barack Obama has given Americans what they say they want. But the result hasn't made them proud of America or of their president. The same phenomenon may

    April 22, 2014

  • I signed what? When Dr. Sam said, "You've got the prostate of a 16-year-old," it was hard to keep from beaming. This must be how a woman feels when a complete stranger tells her she has a beautiful baby. Well, maybe not quite. Still, it was hard not to feel proud o

    April 19, 2014

Twitter Updates
Facebook
Stocks