Via (again!) Ezra Klein:
Here's the play: Someone somewhere reports that the Affordable Care Act will require some change in the status quo. Maybe it's that insurers can no longer discriminate against sick children, and so some of them are pulling products that were only financially viable so long as they could discriminate against sick children. Maybe it's that McDonald's won't be able to offer miniature health-care "coverage" that caps annual benefits at $2,000, a form of insurance that wouldn't protect anyone from a real illness and that Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley once described as "not better than nothing." Maybe it's that 3M is changing its early-retiree health-care plans, for reasons that may or may not be related to the new health-care law. Opponents of the reforms jump on the story. "See!" they say. "This is a catastrophe!" Supporters -- at least some of them -- e-mail me. "This needs a rebuttal, thanks."Just a few hours spent on the #utpol hashtag, and you'll see some Utah con parlaying this same garbage Klein points to as empirical "proof" that ACA "is ruining the greatest health care system in the world." (Yeah, that guy is running for Congress.)
But it doesn't need a rebuttal. It needs explanation, and that's what's usually lacking. And when they do explain the particular rule or regulation causing the disruption, the situation often looks very different. The McDonald's plans, for instance, shouldn't continue after 2014, though it looks like the administration is going to give them a waiver to escape the bad press. The point of health-care reform was to get people into real insurance and protect them from illusory plans that run out when they get sick.
The health care debate from then to now has always been too driven by anecdotal "evidence," admittedly a lazy tactic employed by both proponents and supporters. Once you inject more intelligence into the debate than the Utah Young Republicans twitter feed, you begin to understand the real objective of the reform, and the actual -- and beneficial -- challenges it brings to the status quo of our failing health care system.
It's laughable to see anyone defending the status quo, but an intelligent argument isn't the goal for Republicans at this point, if it (DEATH PANELS!) ever was.
When Morgan Philpot speaks today, remember, it's the McDonald's health care plan -- which isn't much of a plan at all -- that he's defending. When Shurtleff speaks afterward, remember he's a carpetbagger in search of a spotlight, always. And when you hear these lazy attacks on the ACA, laugh.
The bill, with all of it's warts, is a start, and will never see a repeal.