No, Obamacare Isn’t Proving Its Critics Wrong

It would be a genuine challenge to identify more obsequious water-carriers for the Obama agenda than the (hilariously inept) propaganda “explanatory journalism” team at Vox. One of their ongoing projects is “Voxplaining” to Americans how Obamacare is, in fact, working quite well — regardless of what the vulgar right-wing liars might say. Though I spent a great deal of time refuting one such effort last fall, I again feel compelled to rise on behalf of Obamacare opponents to puncture Vox’s latest pseudo-factual exercise in ideological self-congratulation. Last week, blogger Sarah Kliff, who has done some good work as a journalist on the healthcare beat, published a piece crowing that the so-called “Affordable” Care Act has been vindicated by outcomes, effectively exposing its critics as ignorant hacks. Setting aside problems with her approach — selecting uniquely hyperbolic predictions to “rebut,” and treating shorthand critiques as granular objections, for instance — let’s examine the eight “myths” she purports to refute:

(1) Nobody wants to buy Obamacare: Of course it’s true that many people wanted to, and did, obtain coverage through Obamacare — both on the exchanges, and through the law’s Medicaid expansion. Millions of those who enrolled through the exchanges, however, had little choice in the matter. They have been stripped of their existing, preferred coverage, and forced to purchase new, compliant plans. This represents an enormous violation of one of the law’s central pledges. The fact that these people were legally required to buy Obamacare is not evidence that they wanted to do so. Kliff also asserts that it’s “much worse” to be uninsured than insured. Empirical data shows that this is tragically and counter-intuitively not necessarily true, at least for those who are now covered under Medicaid.