Over the past few days, my little corner of nerd and advocacy world has been having a long collective de-stressing breath that most of us had not realized we had been holding in for four years and three months. The Affordable Care Act has survived. In some ways, the individual market components of the ACA are now closer to the House Democrats vision in Spring 2009 than how it was operationalized by the Obama Administration in Winter 2017. Silverloading has done weird things! That was not a likely outcome of a Republican trifecta.
I want to pull back something from May 2017:
In a previous thread, a troll was FIRST!! with the advice to “Just quit, we lost this fight in November”
I reject that.
We aren’t going to win often but we get to choose how to lose. We can roll over without trying to defend our values and our morals or we can fight as hard as we can to either get a policy win or inflict significant political costs on Republicans to increase the probability of future policy wins by either putting the fear of losing their seats into them which constrains future opportunity space or flipping those seats in 2018.
More subtly, we tell stories to ourselves. I want those stories that I tell to myself about me to be true. Defending and improving the ACA is one of those stories that I tell myself. The ACA benefits 2009 me far more than it benefits the 2017 me. It is a gut check. Am I full of shit or do I actually believe in what I think I believe in.
We did that.
We got policy wins. We got political wins.
There is still need to moot a farcical suit that is currently at the Supreme Court.
But the ACA is likely to be around in 2022. It is likely to get a highly needed update and corrections revisit by Congress.
That is not what I would have put any money on four years ago today.