Last night thanks to the wonder of youtube I was able to watch the White House Coorespondents dinner. And yeah yeah, I know it was televised live on C-SPAN but come on now, it was on a Saturday night and I’m a young person so obviously I had better, more knuckleheady things to do with my weekend than watch some black tie dinner. But you know, Tuesday night looking for something to help me go to sleep, I can make a little time to see what The President has to say. I have to admit, he was pretty good. I especially like how he had two ferns brought out – in reference to his appearance on between two ferns in March to promote Obamacare. While the President mostly poked fun at himself, and did so very well I might add, he also doesn’t have the ability to stand in front of a microphone and give himself a pat on the back for Obamacare. And pat on the back he did.
According to the President 8 million people signed up for healthcare during the enrollment period. Now I had heard 7 million when the deadline passed but I guess they had to count all the enrollees for the 31st of March by hand and you know he is busy being President and all so I guess I’ll let that slide and agree it’s 8 million. 8 million, that’s a lot, I mean that’s more people than dollars I will ever have in a bank account. Impressive, right? But just out of curiosity I looked up the population of the US and right now we’re 317.8 million strong which means 2.5% of Americans now have healthcare coverage under the affordable healthcare act . . . wait, what? But what about all those people who had coverage, lost it due to ACA and signed up during this period? They’re part of that 8 million for sure but the Obama administration isn’t releasing those numbers. But let’s give Obama the benefit of the doubt, I mean he is our President so we should trust him. So we’re agreed 2.5% of Americans have been helped by the President and his landmark legislation and have health insurance they didn’t have before, 2.5%. I’ve got to tell y’all, we really dodged a bullet by not electing that Romney guy president; we all know he only cares about the wealthy 1% of Americans and 2.5% is greater than 1% – that’s not politics that’s just math.
So 8 million (2.5% of) Americans now have healthcare coverage. Woohoo! I just love when politicians talk about their legislation and the “millions” if affects, it sounds so dramatic. But what about the millions of Americans who have lost the coverage they liked, who still can’t afford insurance even under the government plan, who surprise! no longer have medication covered that was covered for years, who have seen an increase in their prescription co-pays, who can no longer use their flexible spending accounts for OTC medications they need and their doctors recommend – what’s the count of those people? We don’t know and probably never will because The President quite frankly doesn’t care and more importantly, those people don’t make his legislation look so great.
To be fair, I really shouldn’t argue about this legislation and the legacy of this president over hypothetical people that I will never be able to count. But I should mention some counts we do know like the 49 million (15.42%) Americans living in poverty or the roughly 34 million women who became unwed mothers last year. Unemployment is at 6.3% and inflation is at 1.5% . The government profits $50 billion a year on collecting interest on student loan debt and although there’s much debate on the number somewhere from 3.4% to 7.6% of Americans do not have the legal ability to marry the person they love thanks to laws against same sex marriage. So what about all those people, didn’t The President promise to fight for them too?
While The President has been busy appearing on internet shows and listening in on foreign official’s phone conversations he’s forgotten about the heart of America – the people like you and me who wake up, go to work, read an interesting article or two on the internet, have dinner with the family, go to bed and repeat. He’s forgotten about the people who needed him the most the poor , the hungry and the young who are the future of this great nation. Whether you lean to the left or right it’s pretty easy to see this man, this President has been a tremendous disappointment. For two and a half more years we’ll continue to hear the self-congratulatory remarks about those 8 million healthcare enrollees. One day the state of Illinois will contain a giant monument to this event (aka Barrack H. Obama’s Presidential Library). Between now and then we’ll continue to do what we always do, the Republicans will continue to bash Obamacare while the Democrats publically applaud it but secretly roll their eyes at what could have been. Time will march on with new candidates full of their new promises of hope and change that in reality takes years to come. Some will inspire and others will disappoint and years from now our President will be one of many with a legacy of unfulfilled dreams. I’m not suggesting we give up on the system for the most part it works to keep us safe and maintain our ability to live our lives day in and day out. But do remember, just because something sounds great and impressive, doesn’t mean it is – especially if it’s coming out of the mouth of a politician.