“Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”
While that quote has been misattributed to everyone from Albert Einstein to Mark Twain, it’s a pretty apt description of House Republicans and the Affordable Care Act.
Today, House Republicans voted to repeal the Affordable Care Act for the 50th time since the law was passed in 2010. The repeal bill they passed this afternoon would result in a million additional uninsured Americans just this year alone.
President Obama took a shot at these endless GOP games last week: “You know what they say: 50th time is the charm. Maybe when you hit your 50th repeal vote, you will win a prize. Maybe if you buy 50 repeal votes, you get one free.”
Meanwhile, in the real world, the Affordable Care Act continues to generate results. More than 4 million people have obtained private health coverage through the new marketplaces, millions more have gotten cover through Medicaid (more on that in a second), and three million young people have been able to stay on their parents’ insurance.
A government report released yesterday detailed how the U.S. economy is already benefiting from the law: by driving up personal income and consumer spending. Between Medicaid expanding to cover millions more low-income people, and families who bought private insurance on the exchange and took advantage of the law’s generous tax credits, the ACA contributed a $33.9 billion jump in personal income for January alone.
Think about that for a second — a $33.9 billion jump in personal income in the first month of the law’s full implementation.
The report also found a bigger than expected increase in consumer spending as well — about $45.2 billion total for the month. The Wall Street Journal looked at the report and said that about three-quarters of this surprisingly positive growth came from those benefiting from the ACA.
States are also taking important steps to protect their citizens and make sure affordable coverage is available for everyone. In Arkansas, the House of Representatives, which in recent weeks voted to kick 96,000 people off their health insurance, finally wrangled the votes to extend the state’s “private option” for Medicaid expansion for another year. In New Hampshire, the State Senate is expected to follow suit with a similar plan, using federal money to help low-income residents enroll in private insurance coverage.
Unfortunately, other Republican governors and lawmakers around the country continue to reject expanding Medicaid, denying health coverage to millions of their fellow citizens solely because of partisan politics. Thousands of these people will die as a result. Really.
BOTTOM LINE: The Affordable Care Act is working, It is providing quality, affordable health coverage to millions of Americans and a boost to our economy. Even some red state Republicans are starting to see the light and understand the benefits of the law. With today’s 50th vote to repeal the law, Congressional Republicans made clear once again that they are quite simply living on another planet.