The Fate of Obamacare’s Most Popular Provision
In the 2018 elections, Republican lawmakers are torn between their ongoing pledges to repeal or oppose the health reform, and overwhelming support for its protections for people with pre-existing conditions.
Remarkably, against all the odds and years of campaign promises, most of the Affordable Care Act is still the law of the land. In 2010, the passage of the most sweeping health reform in a half century galvanized conservatives, lending to Republican victories in Congress and becoming a major contributor to the party’s current dominance across all three branches of government. In the last decade of politics, even as different wings of the GOP vied bitterly for control of the party, one near-constant position among candidates has been the platform on Obamacare: repeal, and replace.
But over the years, reality has caught up to Republicans. Obamacare’s insurance markets have become a standard part of the health-care infrastructure. The catastrophic vision of death panels and government-run health care that Republicans once predicted has been replaced with a reality of very real, but more banal and less frightening, issues and barriers. Several Republican governors have yielded to economic and popular pressures in expanding Medicaid programs to low-income adults, and in several other states people are forcing the issue themselves.