I’ve long believed the public’s opposition to the Affordable Care Act is almost entirely the result of a misinformation campaign and disgust with Washington in general. Once the American mainstream came to realize what’s in the law, and the benefits families will enjoy going forward, support for the ACA would soar.
To be sure, polls suggest this is going slowly. Americans still don’t know what’s in the Affordable Care Act and still have sour attitudes towards the law itself.
Ward, who does nonprofit work in Southern California, is a mom and a wife in an “ordinary, middle-class” family. She also found out three weeks ago that she has third-stage breast cancer.
In the L.A. Times today, Ward tells her story, explaining how her family struggled to stay insured after her husband lost his job, and was ultimately forced to choose “between paying our mortgage or paying for health insurance.” They decided to forgo the latter, and panicked after the recent diagnosis.
The good news is, Ward is able to take advantage of some already-implemented protections in the Affordable Care Act, including the new Pre-existing Condition Insurance Plan. Ward didn’t know the program existed, but soon found that enrolling was easy, and her family could afford the premiums. She also found compassionate public officials who’ve been able to help.
Which brings me to my apology. I was pretty mad at Obama before I learned about this new insurance plan. I had changed my registration from Democrat to Independent, and I had blacked out the top of the “h” on my Obama bumper sticker, so that it read, “Got nope” instead of “got hope.” I felt like he had let down the struggling middle class. My son and I had campaigned for him, but since he took office, we felt he had let us down.
So this is my public apology. I’m sorry I didn’t do enough of my own research to find out what promises the president has made good on. I’m sorry I didn’t realize that he really has stood up for me and my family, and for so many others like us. I’m getting a new bumper sticker to cover the one that says “Got nope.” It will say “ObamaCares.”
I certainly wish Ward the best and will hope for a speedy recovery. In the larger context, I wonder how many more Americans will feel as she does about the health care law after relying on it in a time of need.