Sunday marks four years since President Obama signed the Affordable Care Act — Obamacare — into law.
Republicans’ message on the anniversary? We told you so. Democrats’ message? Call the law by its given name.
“Look back at the health care debate as the president rammed his bill through Congress four years ago and you’ll discover something: Republicans were right. We said the president would never be able to keep his promise that Americans could keep their plans under Obamacare. We said his bill would raise individual premiums. We said patients would have fewer choices in providers. We were right about all of it,” said Sen. Lamar Alexander (Tenn.), ranking Republican on the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee.
“Republicans had better ideas then about going step by step with reforms to increase competition, increase choice, put patients back in charge, and reduce the cost of health care so that more people could afford it. And as the president issues endless delays and repeals of his own law, we’re showing Americans that Republicans have better solutions today to fix the mess Obamacare has created,” Alexander added.
Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), one of the physicians in Congress who has crusaded against Obamacare, note that four years ago “Democrats in Washington were confident that the law that they forced through Congress would be extremely popular today.”
“Instead, the law has broken almost every significant promise that President Obama made about it and Americans have been left to deal with the very serious consequences. Millions of Americans have personally discovered that they can’t keep their coverage, can’t afford their premiums, can’t see their doctor and can’t work as many hours,” Barrasso said.
“Today, the actual law doesn’t even look the same because President Obama has lawlessly re-written almost all of it in a desperate attempt to save his legacy,” he continued. “The so-called ‘fixes’ aren’t working and Americans understand that the changes are based on saving politicians’ careers instead of improving health care. Instead of continuing to implement a poorly written law that continues to fail Americans, we need to suspend it and start over. Washington needs to finally focus on improving access to quality, affordable health care for all Americans.”
When asked at a press conference yesterday whether Obamacare is a political winner or loser for Democrats, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) chided the reporter for using the O-word.
“I believe that it’s a winner. And, by the way, it’s called the Affordable Care Act. It’s called the Affordable Care Act,” Pelosi said. “I know you didn’t intend any compliment or derogatory, but it’s called the Affordable Care Act. And the Affordable Care Act, when people know what it is and see what it means to them. And that’s a case we have to make. We’re grownups.”
“Affordable — affordable. There’s a reason. Affordable. Affordable. Affordable. Affordable. Affordable. The reason they changed the name of it is because they wanted to get away, the opponents, from the word ‘affordable,'” she continued. “And that’s why I’m impatient with some of these comments. Whatever it is, it’s infinitely more affordable than the path that we were on without the Affordable Care Act.”