Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Obamacare and Real People: Continued Erosion of Moral Credibility of U.S. Catholic Bishops in Public Square as Obamacare Enrollment Surges

As Obamacare enrollment surged yesterday to meet the goal the administration had originally set for program enrollments, Rachel Maddow aired a segment last night that she admits she has shamelessly stolen from Chris Hayes: the Obamacare "death-spiral" meme. You have to watch it (see the video above, starting at around the 42 second mark): sad, wishful thinking of one rigidly on-message GOP leader after another, gleefully aided and abetted by media cheerleaders, predicting that the Affordable Care Act would go the way of the dodo bird as it spiraled down to ignominious death.

The uncomfortable reality with which these folks now must contend this morning: as Brian Beutler notes for Salon today, 

On net, millions more people — perhaps about 10 million — are now (or will soon be) insured because of Obamacare than were covered beforehand. 

At TPM, Dylan Scott links to a Los Angeles Times article by Noam Levey which puts the figure at 9.5 million. 

As Wonkette notes (see Samantha Wyatt at Media Matters, too), Fox news had trouble absorbing the mathematical implications of yesterday's surge in enrollment, and generated this misleading chart to 'splain to its viewers what was afoot:

Whether 9.5 million or 10 million (or, as Brian Beutler points out, when you factor in new Medicaid enrollments, off-exchange enrollments in Qualified Health Plans, and "young invincibles" now covered by their parents' plans, the total considerably exceeds 10 million), these are real-life, living and breathing human beings now covered for healthcare who were not previously covered, or who were inadequately covered for basic healthcare provision.

And as those millions of American citizens receive healthcare coverage, the pastoral leaders of American Catholics continue to ask us to ignore those millions and focus on hypotheticals, on what ifs, on imaginary abortifacients and sperm and ova--on what the program "could" do, as the USCCB continues its relentless, shameful attack on the Affordable Care Act. What an astonishing betrayal of pastoral leadership.

And what an ugly abdication of moral credibility in the public square.

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