Common Dreams, Sunday, March 01, 2015
by Carl Finamore
Hard to believe it’s been five years since Congress passed the Affordable Care Act (ACA) on March 23, 2010. The bloviating, vein-popping right-wing still goes ballistic at mere mention of the word Obamacare.
Still, putting aside their senseless distortions and diatribes, not too many of us have cause for celebration except perhaps the top brass from the 1300 or so private health insurers who are raking in enormous profits - health care stocks soared by almost 40 percent in 2013, the highest of any sector in the S&P 500.
Nonetheless, as a reminder, the controversial law does contain some important positives for regular folks. For example, it guarantees coverage for everyone without tacking on higher premiums because of pre-existing medical conditions and it requires annual free preventive-care health checks for those on Medicare.
But, five years in, as critics continue to emphasize, ACA still primarily serves as a huge government marketing campaign for private insurance companies, funneling millions of new customers with few if any restrictions on ever-escalating prices.