About three years ago, Jimmy Kimmel Live did an informal poll, asking people on the street whether they preferred Obamacare or the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Even though Obamacare is a nickname for ACA, and they are the same freaking thing, most people said they preferred ACA. They liked ACA because it was more affordable and offered more options.
“The name says it all,” one man said. Another person said he thought ACA was “more American” than Obamacare. One man said that Obamacare is socialist but ACA isn’t, and one woman even went so far as to say that Obamacare will eventually lead to gun prohibition. At the end, when a woman was told the two are one in the same, her response was: “Thanks, you made me look stupid.” Excuse me while I slam my head down onto my desk a half-dozen times.
Not much has changed in the past three years, unfortunately. People still don’t understand that Obamacare and ACA are the same freaking thing. Back in 2013, when the law was passed, polls showed that people had stronger opinions (both positive and negative) about Obamacare than ACA, even though, again, Obamacare is just a nickname for ACA. Not only is Obamacare not a law, it’s also not even a health insurance plan — and neither is ACA.
An image circulating on Imgur showcases just how ill-informed Americans are about ACA, or Obamacare, which Republicans are threatening to repeal. In the post, a commenter celebrating a vote to repeal Obamacare says, “I’m not on Obamacare. My health insurance is through the ACA (Affordable Care Act)…” Again, excuse me while I slam my head into my desk a few times.
Listen, folks, one more time for the people in the back: OBAMACARE IS THE AFFORDABLE CARE ACT. THEY ARE THE SAME THING.
ACA is that law that people love to hate when it’s called “Obamacare,” but love when it prohibits insurance companies from denying coverage for preexisting conditions and provides insurance options for people who don’t get health insurance through an employer.
ACA is far from perfect. Insurance premiums are rising, health care costs are out of control, and people are pissed. But, repealing ACA (or Obamacare) isn’t going to change that. In fact, some groups estimate that repealing ACA will result in the loss of 3 million jobs by 2021, and an estimated 20 million people could be without health insurance. The non-partisan Kaiser Family Foundation estimated that 52 million Americans have pre-existing medical conditions — people who were often denied coverage by insurance companies before ACA. Quite simply, ACA is a matter of life for many people.
The health care system is still flawed, and ACA isn’t a fix-all. But if you want to be mad at someone, be mad at the insurance companies. Be mad at the politicians who tout “family values” without actually doing anything to help families. Be mad at our PEOTUS having a public tantrum on Twitter instead of coming up with a solution to the exorbitant cost of health care. Just don’t dismantle a system that provides life-saving, essential health care coverage to millions of people without having a better solution in mind.
And for fuck’s sake, stop hating on Obamacare while showing the love to the Affordable Care Act coverage. They are the same freaking thing, and you’re making us all look stupid.