t's been exactly a year since President Obama signed the Affordable Care Act into law. And a year later, the same polarizing arguments about health care reform persist, writes Jonathan Cohn at The New Republic. Opponents are still clamoring for it to be repealed — as Mitt Romney did this morning — while supporters continue to point to its potential benefits to the impoverished and unemployed. Yes, "it's easy to find the flaws" in what we ended up with. Thanks to the many political compromises that led to its creation, the act itself is probably the "third- or fourth-best solution" to our problems. But it's worth sticking with, writes Cohn. Here, an excerpt:
More than 30 million additional people will have health insurance because of this law. The coverage, if not always as generous as it should be, will be enough to keep many if not most of the newly insured out of bankruptcy — and it will be available to almost everybody, regardless of pre-existing condition or insurance status. ...
The way to improve the law is to build upon it — to bolster the insurance coverage, reach those Americans the law as written will not reach, and to strengthen the experiments in cost control that work. The best analysis of the law remains the one Senator Tom Harkin gave: The Affordable Care Act is not a mansion. It’s a starter home. But it’s got a solid foundation, a sturdy roof, and room for expansion.
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