This is a disparity with consequences. Health professionals, state officials, social workers, insurance agents and others trying to make the law work for uninsured Americans say the partisan divisions and attack ads have depressed participation in some places. They say the law has been stigmatized for many who could benefit from it, especially in conservative states like West Virginia that have the poorest, most medically underserved populations but where President Obama and his signature initiative are hugely unpopular.
While the evidence that such ads, and the partisan climate generally, have hindered sign-ups consists mainly of anecdotes, nearly everyone interviewed in West Virginia volunteered some.
"The controversy about Obamacare does seem to have interfered with people's ability to sort out the value of the marketplace for getting health insurance for themselves," said Dr. James B. Becker, associate professor of the Marshall University School of Medicine and medical director of the state's Medicaid program. Link here.
Sadly, it seems as if the political push by the conservatives is going to hurt many people who need these provisions the most—mainly, the working poor who are most likely to be uninsured but not meet the standards of state's medicaid requirements.
The right hasn't just relied on discussing the very real problems with the law and the role out that would be considered legitimate, but has used almost bizarre hyperbole, comparing it to Nazi Germany and such (as we've seen in the news), resulting in people having almost dystopian fears:
"Literally, people thought there would be chips embedded in their bodies if they signed up for Obamacare," Mr. Bryant said.
What's sad is we should fear the government but that's because of the Patriot Act and not because of Obamacare.
I'm not sure what will happen in the next five years and there is a good chance that a very conservative candidate (or candidates) won't really ever gain control of the presidential office or the Senate. But there is a good chance because of Gerrymandering and the political propaganda machine that our government will continue to barely function, lurching forward in half measures and inflammatory rhetoric that will continue the deep divide.
The winners in this war? The 1% and the neoliberal political machine that serves them. The losers? Everyone else but especially the working poor, sections of whom act as foot soldiers in the neoliberal war against having a government infrastructure.
Despite strong dislike of President Obama's handling of health care, a majority of people in three Southern states – Kentucky, Louisiana and North Carolina – would rather that Congress improve his signature health care law than repeal and replace it, according to a New York Times Upshot/Kaiser Family Foundation poll.
The poll also found that a majority of Kentucky residents – and a plurality in a fourth state, Arkansas — said they thought the health care marketplace in their state was working well, even as they expressed strong disapproval of the health care law. More than twice as many Kentuckians say their state exchange is working well than say it is not.
The findings in the four states — all with political races that could tip the balance of power in the Senate — underscore the complex and often contradictory views of Mr. Obama's principal domestic legislation four years after it became law.