The Affordable Care Act was intended to reign in the cost of health care, expand access and raise the insurance rate. Almost immediately, Obamacare critics whined and stomped their feet about everything from so-called death panels to the broken website.
Perhaps the biggest myth of all was the idea that health care would be rationed out and somehow become more expensive for everyone.
But the haters were wrong then, and they're wrong now. New numbers from a Commonwealth Fund survey demonstrate that the Affordable Care Act is performing well its intended purpose: helping millions of Americans access health care at reasonable rates. Since the act became law, many of the worst excesses of the American health care system are rapidly being reigned in.
For instance, about 11 million fewer adults are reporting difficulties paying their medical bills ...
... about 14 million more Americans who were able to seek out medical care instead of delaying it because of the cost ...
... and 7 million fewer Americans without health insurance.
The survey broke down the data further, indicating that, because of the reforms, millions of Americans can now afford to see their doctor or a specialist when they fall ill or are injured; fill necessary prescriptions; and undergo treatment and diagnostic procedures formerly out of their budget.
If the point of health care reform is to expand access to necessary care for millions of Americans who previously couldn't afford it, then Obamacare is already looking like a major success. According to the numbers, average Americans are having less trouble getting the medical care they need.
As MSNBC's Steve Benen adds, it's also clear proof that the "rationing" predicted by right-wing pundits hasn't materialized. Instead the law has produced impressive results on everything from premiums to customer satisfaction while reducing the overall increase in health care spending to its lowest point in 50 years. Experts say that the act has helped middle-class Americans facing increasingly high deductibles and premiums amid stagnant salaries and corporate cost-cutting, without which their bills would be even higher.
This is real, solid evidence that Obamacare is doing well. Even with certain looming challenges, no matter how much huffing and puffing they do, opponents are looking at the same numbers we are — and numbers don't lie.