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Letter From the Editor

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"My monthly prescription is now $15, instead of $150, thanks to the disaster of Obamacare."

A friend posted the above on her Facebook page this week. The responses to her post were similar. "I had a prescription drop from $300 to $20 a month," wrote one friend. "I got it, too. It'll give me some breathing room," wrote another.

Typical? I don't know. Maybe these were all unemployed hippies who've drunk the Obama Kool-Aid, but obviously they were happy with the change the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has brought to their lives.

Just as obviously, there are people who are unhappy with Obamacare, including the Republicans in Congress, who have voted to repeal all or part of the ACA 50 times, and counting. It reminds me of the old joke about the guy who sat around whacking his head with a small hammer all day. When asked why he did it, he replied, "Because it feels so good when I stop."

But there was something of a sea change this week, when Republicans joined with some Democratic House colleagues to enact a change in the ACA that benefited small business coverage options. It was a stealth operation, passed by a voice vote with no debate, so there would be no evidence of any Republican's cooperation with the Satanic Kenyan to improve health care — nothing that could be thrown in their faces come election season.

Democrats cited the incident as an example of the bipartisan type of change to the ACA they are eager to make. Republicans pretended it didn't happen.

After a disastrous start that included the debacle of its health-care website roll-out, the administration announced last week that it had met its target number of 7 million Obamacare enrollees by the April 1st deadline. It was also announced that the number of uninsured Americans dropped to its lowest percentage in years — 15.6 percent — down from 18.1 percent just last year.

Those numbers would look even better had 20 GOP-led states not decided to reject the 100-percent paid Medicaid expansion offered by the federal government through the ACA. In fact, as many as 21 million more Americans would be eligible for health care in those states. As it stands now, they — and all the rest of us living in GOP World — get the privilege of sending our federal tax dollars to pay for Medicaid expansion in the 30 states that got with program. But Benghazi, right?

This Obama derangement syndrome is apparently going to be with us all the way through the president's term, which ends in 2016 — unless, of course, he overthrows the government, declares himself dictator for life, and takes our guns.

A few numbers tell the tale of our oppressive overlord: Since Obama took office, unemployment has dropped from highs of around 9 percent to 6.7 percent. The deficit gap has dropped from 9.8 percent to 3.3 percent. Consumer confidence has gone from 37 percent to 78 percent. And the Dow, which was at 7,949 when Obama took office, is now around 16,200. That's some really lousy socialism.

Bruce VanWyngarden
brucev@memphisflyer.com

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