The New York Times’ online comments section lit up tonight with the astounding news that more than 7 million people had enrolled in insurance plans under the Affordable Care Act.
The Times’ story, which ran under the headline “Obama Claims Victory in Push for Insurance,” had drawn more than 570 comments by 10:20 p.m.
It was like a collective, spontaneous explosion of joy from Democrats who have been pulling for the ACA to be successful and who have had to endure the relentless attacks of narrow-minded Republicans like John Boehner and Mitch McConnell, who locked jaws behind the trite assertion that the ACA was a “jobs-killing bill.”
The Times began its story this way:
In an afternoon Rose Garden ceremony, Mr. Obama announced that a late surge of customers to HealthCare.gov before Monday’s deadline had pushed insurance sign-ups to 7.1 million, slightly more than the administration’s original goal. The achievement was somewhat remarkable considering the bureaucratic and technical nightmare that surrounded the website’s debut last October.
“Armageddon has not arrived,” the president said to an audience of White House staff members and supporters who greeted the announcement with an extended standing ovation. “Instead, this law is helping millions of Americans, and in the coming years it will help millions more.”
Regardless of the Republican David Jolly’s victory in a special congressional election in Florida last month, I think the surprising success of the March 31 sign-up deadline is going to alter the opinions of a lot of people who initially got seduced by the Republicans’ “job-killing” mantra.
I’m very eager to see what the 2014 national elections bring.
In the meantime, here’s a sampling of those NYT comments:
Stu Freeman, Brooklyn, NY: “We have to stop this president or every American is going to find himself eligible for affordable health care!!”
Klattt1996, Birmingham, AL: “Congratulations Mr. President and America. While it may not be perfect..it is a wonderful start for opening the doors to Health care for all. A victory worth touting.”
K. Yates, Connecticut: “I don’t need the Affordable Care Act for my body but sure needed it for my soul. Thanks, Mr. President, from one who feels proud of her country for the first time in many years.”
Jim Steinberg, Fresno, CA: “The sound of Republican teeth grinding is deafening.”
pbug56, Suffolk County, Long Island: “So now the Heritage Foundation-designed health care plans are in effect. Romney Care is national. And for all its flaws, including some people who had so-so plans that were cancelled, many more now have coverage — or better coverage then they had as of December 31, 2013. The garbage plans that I had didn’t provide me usable coverage; ACA, for a bit more per month, does. I can finally start dealing with my health issues again.”
Andrew, Vermont: “Thank you, President Obama. And of course the N.O.P. (i.e., the Nihilistic Old Party) will continue to wring their hands in response to this news (and spread lies to displace their anxiety), as they have from the moment Obama was elected. Why? Because they are sore losers. After several years of their abysmal leadership, when next to nothing was done to address the health crisis, some progress is finally being made. And while they had power, they drove the economy over a cliff, mismanaged one ostensibly justifiable war (in Afghanistan), and carried out (very poorly) an unnecessary war of aggression in Iraq, which costs the U.S. 4,000 troops and trillions of dollars, and Iraq 100,000 lives. While President Obama has fallen short of many people’s expectations, he has at least had the courage to work for someone other the corporate elite and the military industrial complex. It’s remarkable that more Americans don’t see through the core level bankruptcy of a party that preaches ‘freedom,’ spends trillions of dollars in taxpayer money to allegedly bolster it (on war and increased military spending), and then bends over backward to deprive their own citizens of the right to vote and have access to healthcare.”
Peter L Ruden, Savannah, GA: “My wife and I are 60 years old, and have a teenage daughter. Due to the recession I was unemployed for a time and lost my health insurance. Then I became ill and required surgery, incurring thousands in medical bills. I thereafter found employment, but my employer does not offer health insurance at his small firm. I could not afford the $1,200 per month that insurers wanted to charge me if they offered any coverage at all. Last Friday, through an instance agent we signed up for Obamacare through an insurance agent. We now have platinum coverage for only $74 per month. A great weight has been lifted from our shoulders. We could not be more thankful.”
My family is benefitting, too. Onward and upward with the best medical-insurance program yet — Obamacare!