Drudge Retort: The Other Side of the News
Saturday, December 23, 2017

In July and again in September, Republicans narrowly failed to repeal the Affordable Care Act. But their newly passed tax legislation included a provision getting rid of Obamacare's mandate requiring Americans to buy insurance, and President Donald Trump immediately declared victory in the partisan health care wars. "When the individual mandate is being repealed, that means Obamacare is being repealed," he crowed at a Cabinet meeting on Wednesday. "We have essentially repealed Obamacare." Well, no. The individual mandate is only part of Obamacare. It wasn't even included in the original health care plan that Barack Obama unveiled during the 2008 campaign. The mandate did become an important element of Obamacare, and the only specific element that a majority of the public opposed.




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But the more generous elements of the program -- like a major expansion of Medicaid, significant government subsidies for private insurance premiums, and strict protections for pre-existing conditions -- are still popular, and still the law of the land.

"The death of Obamacare has been exaggerated," says Larry Levitt, who oversees health reform studies at the Kaiser Family Foundation. "Eliminating the mandate creates uncertainty, but all the benefits for people remain in place."

The Republican ecstasy and Democratic gloom over the death of the mandate reflects the most consistent misperception over the seven-plus years of Affordable Care Act debates, the incorrect assumption that the "Obamacare exchanges," where Americans can buy private insurance, are synonymous with Obamacare.

The vast majority of Americans who get their coverage through Medicare, Medicaid or their employers shouldn't be affected.

Yes, killing the mandate could cause problems for the remaining 6 percent of Americans who have to buy insurance on the open market, but nearly half will remain eligible for subsidies that would insulate them from any premium hikes.


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The very fact that Trump wants to kill a program that 57% of the population approve of and depend on makes him probably the most selfish human being ever to be President. He, literally, wants to kill Obamacare simply because Obama insulted him at the Press Club dinner a few years ago. A mature adult might be resentful but would not punish millions of people over it. Trump is, as Bannon says, an 11 year old child.

#1 | Posted by danni at 2017-12-22 08:34 AM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

235,248,000 people of voting age in the US vs only approx 11 million on obamacare; do not see that is going to be a major factor for the average voter.

#2 | Posted by MSgt at 2017-12-22 01:43 PM | Reply

The mandate did become an important element of Obamacare, and the only specific element that a majority of the public opposed.

And it has now been repealed, and the exchanges are on pace to set a record for enrollments this year.

Trump can and will say whatever idiotic things he wants to fire up the masses (both pro and con) but the reality of the situation is that the ACA isn't going anywhere.

#3 | Posted by Rightocenter at 2017-12-22 03:54 PM | Reply


It is ironic (in the correct sense of that word) that the Left is now quoting Bannon since he started bashing Trump.

#4 | Posted by Rightocenter at 2017-12-22 03:55 PM | Reply

It is no longer Obamacare.

#5 | Posted by fresno500 at 2017-12-23 12:40 AM | Reply

It is now TrumpScare.

#6 | Posted by donnerboy at 2017-12-23 02:12 AM | Reply

"235,248,000 people of voting age in the US vs only approx 11 million on obamacare; do not see that is going to be a major factor for the average voter."

If that were the only factor, O'Care would have been repealed.

You're missing the "know someone who knows someone" aspect. Not to mention the dramatic footage of handicapped being dragged out of protests.

#7 | Posted by Danforth at 2017-12-23 02:29 AM | Reply

Trump is essentially an Idiot or a Liar. (Or both)

#8 | Posted by donnerboy at 2017-12-23 11:59 AM | Reply

235,248,000 people of voting age in the US vs only approx 11 million on obamacare; do not see that is going to be a major factor for the average voter.


"Obamacare" is also what set new rules for all private healthcare insurance, including employer-paid, like pre-existing conditions, no lifetime caps, maximum out-of-pocket, preventive care without copays, children on policies until age 26. Those apply to everybody, not just those whose premiums are subsidized by the government.

Without the individual mandate "forcing" young, healthy people into the insurance pool, premiums have to go up for everybody who remains in the pool.

#9 | Posted by WhoDaMan at 2017-12-23 12:56 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 4


You are not wrong, but what has happened in California with the explosive growth of HMOs will now start happening nationwide, as HMO only providers like Kaiser are starting to severly undercut the PPOs and combo providers will start moving to HMOs only. From there, it is only a short step to Medicare for all, since in many states these large HMOs manage Medicare for the states.

#10 | Posted by Rightocenter at 2017-12-23 02:30 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1




I was covered by Kaiser when I first started working in LA back in 1970. I stayed with them through employment by the County and, later by other, private, employers until 1999. It was shortly after that they dropped coverage in NC, where I've lived since 1993, and I have been far less satisfied with BC/BS, Aetna, UHC, etc. as I was covered by different employers.

There were no copays for normal office visits. They covered two pregnancies and births for a cost of about $50 in prenatal vitamins. My wife had a two-day stay after each birth in a private room. In 1999, I suffered from a bleed in my brain due to an AVM. I was hospitalized for 5 weeks, including 3 1/2 weeks in ICU followed by an all-expense trip (air fare, rental car, lodging) to University of Virginia for treatment with focussed gamma rays, AKA "Gamma Knife", multiple MRI's over the course of several months. I was only charged $100 for the ambulance/ER admission. Kaiser picked up the other $250K. I have friends and relatives who still live in California, and they say it's just as good now as it was then. Yes, it's an HMO.


#11 | Posted by WhoDaMan at 2017-12-23 03:10 PM | Reply

#10 flapworthy.

#12 | Posted by snoofy at 2017-12-23 06:15 PM | Reply

This move was a direct attack on insurances rates which will make maintaining Obamacare more difficult.

#13 | Posted by bayviking at 2017-12-23 09:32 PM | Reply


I am covered by Kaiser, it is pretty awesome.



I'm pretty sure that word doesn't mean what you think it means, Vizzini.

#14 | Posted by Rightocenter at 2017-12-23 10:17 PM | Reply

the Righties are fine with forcing you to carryout a birth, but not in having any heakthcare for it.

#15 | Posted by ichiro at 2017-12-23 11:23 PM | Reply

...or food...or......

#16 | Posted by ichiro at 2017-12-23 11:26 PM | Reply

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