Currently, all political junkies (and everyone else unable to get away from the tyranny of 24 hour news) are consumed by ObamaCare. Strangely though, very few Americans have sought to become informed on the Affordable Care Act. This particular reality hasn’t changed much in the 54 months since the first versions of health care reform began to filter into Congressional sub-committee rooms.
Except it isn’t sinister, and the only thing tricky is the math conservatives are again using to criticize their own health reform plan. In 2011, the average price for an individual plan was $2,196 per year. According to the standards of the individual mandate, individuals making less than $27,500 ($2,196 is 8% of $27,500) would be exempt from the mandate. Median individual income in 2011 was $26,364. For those of you who either don’t like statistics (most of you if you are normal), or are used to conservomath, this means that fully half of the wage earners in the United States would be exempt from the mandate.
It is a new year and a new Congress, but the changing of the calendar has served only to usher in new controversy on a settled subject; health care reform. The Affordable Care Act, passed by majorities in both houses, consolidated into one measure according to congressional rules, and signed by the President, is under attack by revisionist conservatives. Lacking any real, democratic basis for repealing the measure, the conservative mainstream media revived the original law’s biggest boogieman; the Death Panel.
The Recovery Act was the single largest working class tax cut in American history…at $287 billion it dwarfs any other package passed in terms of tax relief for regular working Americans. The rest of the bill, famously, was that horrible orphan, government spending. Military barracks renovation, military housing renovation, road work, rural water projects, rural broadband projects, wind farms, brown-water renovation (most of our nation’s commercial river traffic is supported by infrastructure that is 3/4 of a century old)…you name it, money was spent on it.