The Affordable Care Act has to be the most misunderstood piece of legislation ever passed. A big part of the problem is that the for-profit insurance companies ran a giant "the-sky-is-falling" ad campaign that was more successful in introducing ACA to America than any efforts the government made to explain the new program.
The Republican Party, rather than do something good for America and help pass the ACA, which originally was its idea, jumped on the misinformation bandwagon that was being financed by the insurance companies. It used the same misinformation to win the election in 2010, then gerrymandered enough congressional districts to guarantee congressional victory in 2012 despite losing by millions of votes. The Republican Party also had a candidate in Mitt Romney who implemented a very successful similar program in his home state. Rather than run on his accomplishment, he was forced to stick with the-sky-is-falling message.
The problem now for the Republicans is the sky didn't fall on Oct. 1. The American public will soon find that the Affordable Care Act might actually be beneficial. Medicare and Social Security started out the same way with misinformation from the right. The 2012 elections had commercials featuring Republican candidates promising their mothers they would never cut Social Security or Medicare. My guess is by 2016 the same Republicans will be on TV professing love for the Affordable Care Act.
First Published October 7, 2013 8:00 PM