March Madness!

March madness is upon us—and no, I don’t mean the Lobos going to the Big Dance. Rather, later this month the Supreme Court will finally hear legal challenges to the federal health care reform law, aka the Affordable Care Act, aka ObamaCare.

Remember the March madness of two years ago when the law was passed? Remember the cries of “death panels,” “rationing of health care,” “the end of private insurance,” “the government is moving in between you and your doctor.”

Here’s what I see happening from where I sit:

  • Millions more young adults have health care because they can now be covered under their parents insurance until age 26.
  • Another 17 million children cannot be denied health insurance because of a pre-existing condition.
  • More than 90 million children and adults have already had screenings and preventive care without co-pays or cost-sharing. They no longer have to put off these doctors visits because they can’t afford it. Not only is the government not between you and your doctor, but government has removed much of the bureaucracy and cost that once were the real barriers between you and your doctor.
  • Seniors have saved billions in prescription drug costs because the law closes the ‘donut’ hole.
  • More than 4 million small businesses can now claim tax credits for providing health coverage to their employees. That not only helps to provide needed health care for employees, but also helps those small businesses be more competitive.
  • The increase in health care costs is now slowing—years before the supporters of the bill thought it would.

What I don’t see are death panels, rationing, or any of the other hysterical claims of those who opposed the law. But since we’re all susceptible to March madness, perhaps we missed it. So please point it out to us! As blogger John McDonough of the Boston Globe recently wrote, it’s time for all the naysayers and doomsday fortune-tellers to step up and make their case before the American people. He ends his post with these words: “All those claiming that older Americans are going to get denied treatment by ‘death panels,’ all those who claim that health care under the ACA will be ‘rationed’ and denied to needy Americans, now is your time to put up or shut up.

“General complaints and theoretical belly-aching won’t do. Let’s meet real Americans whose health and health care are getting harmed by the ACA. Now.

“No excuses, no delays. Put up or shut up.”

Please send your personal stories about death panels, rationed care, or how the government has gotten between you and your doctor as a result of the ACA to info@nmvoices.org.

Bill Jordan is NM Voices’ Policy Director

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