Issue #206

Here’s why the richest nation in the world still can’t get health care right

Even after the Affordable Care Act is more than a decade old, there will still be 31 million people who don’t have health insurance. That’s 25 million fewer uninsured than there would have been without the new law, but it’s still a lot of people. Undocumented immigrants are left out of the health insurance exchanges and Medicaid. Some Americans can’t afford insurance even when it’s subsidized. Others will simply go without and choose to pay a tax penalty for remaining uninsured. Pretty much from the start, the American public hasn’t been happy about what’s come to be known as Obamacare. The botched rollout last year of the biggest part of the law — online marketplaces where people can shop for health insurance and receive government subsidies to help pay for it — didn’t help matters. There’s a big partisan divide, with liberals viewing the law more favorably and conservatives viewing it as, well, the worst thing that’s ever happened. Overall, it’s just not very popular, as survey results show. Worse, it’s not popular among the very people it’s supposed to help: those with no health insurance. Huffington Post, 2-13-14.

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