Good news everybody:
The Washington Post fact checks President Obama’s claim that 50,000 have not died in hospitals because of the Affordable Care Act and finds it largely true.
“The 50,000 number is derived from a study, released on Dec. 2, 2014, by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, an arm of the Department of Health and Human Services… The numbers might seem large, but the research seems solid, according to experts we consulted…….
We know readmissions are declining, we know coverage is increasing, we know the cost curve seems to have been bent to some degree, and now we know that preventable deaths are declining. Things are working roughly as predicted or hoped when the law was signed and programs were implemented. However, the policy success is not translating into political success.
Some of that is the reactionary nature of the Tea Party where reality does not matter as they have a liberal bias. Part of the political problem is that most of the direct, obvious, non-option value benefits of Obamacare flow to marginalized groups of people with minimal actual political power. Finally success is statistical and diffuse.
The 50,000 averted deaths don’t have names on them. I don’t know if Grandma survived her hip replacement surgery because of Obamacare’s focus on preventing re-admissions and hospital deaths. I don’t know if my prom date’s daughter survived her chemotherapy because of Obamacare. I don’t know who the survivors are who in the counterfactual universe of no PPACA, would be dead. We can’t place names on the winners of this success story.
The losers aren’t anywhere near as sympathetic but they know they either objectively are losing because of Obamacare because they are paying higher taxes or their individually underwritten policy without maternity benefits was cancelled for the 23 year guy or they believe they are losers because their deductible went up again this year. It is a concentrated grievance (real or imaginary).