Obama deserves health care victory lap

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By Rick Howell

Have you been waiting – because of “Obamacare” - for the United States to fall into the sea? For the mountains to collapse onto the flat-lands and smother us all?
    Or maybe you expected Marx and Lenin to rise from their graves, and cast us all into some Godless, communistic bondage?
    Well, if you’ve been listening to the scary-movie, fear-based rhetoric of conservatives about the new law for years now, surely we were all expecting some disaster, weren’t we? Because that’s what they predicted.
    It turns out – as it so often does – that they were wrong. Instead, the new law (and I’ll call it “Obamacare” for convenient purposes) is working.
    Yes, Obamacare is a success. And this president deserves a round of credit for the nonsense and the hysterical stupidity he’s had to put up with just for trying to get access to affordable health care for low income Americans.
    The president spoke about the issue last week, on the occasion of the news that eight million people have now signed up for health insurance under the law.
    Again, that’s eight million people, not a bad chunk out of the approximately 50 million people whose lack of health coverage got the battle for universal health care under way.
    “This thing is working,” the president said, “and it’s well past time to move on as a country … “
    I’d say ‘good luck’ with that last part, since so many right-wingers have shown repeatedly that they are simply unable to let go of their maniacal obsession with the supposed evils of Obamacare.
    Sen. Ted Cruz, a real modern-day Joe McCarthy, is running around the country sounding the alarm about the demonic law. He even stopped at Liberty University not long ago, assuring the frightened young “Christian conservatives” that our freedom would surely end if this awful law were not overturned.
    Yeah. Sure. Conservatives love to trot out that word “freedom” when they’re trying to spin themselves out of the wrong side of history where they so often reside.
    In 1965, Ronald Reagan was the Ted Cruz of his day, blaring the trumpet of fear and hatred against Medicare, which he, too, said would cost us our....you guessed it, “freedom!”
(Go to Wikipedia to read more of Reagan’s rantings over Medicare, remarks that he regretted later in his career, by the way.)
    Now let’s see about this loss of freedom thing. Under “Obamacare,” you can still choose your own doctor, but insurance companies can’t deny you coverage because of a pre-existing condition.
    Young people can stay on their parents’ plans until they’re 26, and insurance companies can’t say, “Hey, we’ve spent enough on you this year, and we won’t spend anymore.”
    Not to mention that through the Obamacare Web site, eight million people (yeah, I noted that again), have now found affordable plans tailored just for them. Imagine how good it feels for those folks to finally have coverage.
    And you know what? It hasn’t cost you or me one iota of our “freedom.” Not one.
    All the credit for this goes to Barack Hussein Obama, who has persevered through the madness, the silliness (death panels?) and the priceless contributions of such great minds as Sarah Palin and Ted Cruz.
    The day will come when America will finally join the rest of the civilized world and adopt true universal health care, a single payer system of “Medicare for All.”
    Until then, Mr. Obama will be remembered as the president who got it all started in 2009, with the passage of something derided as “Obamacare.”
    Funny about history; it always seems to leave the conservatives behind.

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Rick Howell, a Bedford native, can be reached by e-mail at RickDem117@gmail.com.