Jon Stewart has mocked the Affordable Care Act (ruthlessly). He’s held cringe-worthy interviews with Nancy Pelosi and Kathleen Sebelius, and hasn’t hesitated in dubbing the legislation the “Affordable Horror Story.” Over the past few months, however, he’s gleaned some positive repercussions from of the legislation – which we would be wise to keep in mind.
1. The Affordable Care Act met its Seven million enrollment goal by deadline (by making the hard sell).
2. The Affordable Care Act provides everyone access to the “best healthcare system in the world” (not just those who can afford it).
Anti-Obamacare advocates have claimed from the get-go that the Affordable Care Act is the worst thing to ever happen to the U.S. healthcare system – it will bankrupt our country, provide us with fewer healthcare options, and ultimately, push the U.S. into third-world healthcare conditions. Jon Stewart (with the help of Aasif Mandvi) puts things in perspective – was our healthcare system really perfect? Not particularly – WHO rated the U.S. at #37 on the list of the world’s top healthcare systems, and in reality, people are already living in poverty, with high rates of cancer and heart disease. Of course, the U.S. provides plenty of options – for those who can afford it. But there have always been citizens who “fall through the cracks” – those who are desperate for health insurance or medication but who cannot afford the help they need. There’s always room for improvement; maybe some drastic reform is exactly what we all needed.
A report released by the Congressional Budget Office claimed that because of the Affordable Care Act as many as two million people could leave their jobs, as a job is not necessary to receive comprehensive health benefits under the ACA. Some news outlets proceeded to mistakenly report that the Obamacare legislation is cutting two million jobs. Ultimately, the CBO concluded that the ACA doesn’t necessarily result in employers cutting jobs – just newly-empowered workers choosing a different path. There is no compelling evidence, as a result of the CBO report, that part-time employment has increased because of the ACA, and the ultimate goal of the legislation is actually to reduce the national deficit (not add trillions of dollars to it, as was reported).
There have been plenty of mishaps in the rollout of the Affordable Care Act. But by watching “The Daily Show” with Jon Stewart, I think we can all agree that we need to pay attention to the facts and take a closer look at what we’re hearing on the news.