Sep 26 2013

Progressive Economist Dean Baker Says Obamacare is Better Than You Think

Texas Republican Senator Ted Cruz ended his marathon protest of the Affordable Care Act yesterday morning after 21 hours of near-continuous talking at the podium. His protest was technically not a filibuster – the Senate went ahead and passed a spending bill that excluded the much-desired cut to Obamacare that the House Tea Party caucus has been agitating for.

The Affordable Care Act has been President Obama’s signature piece of domestic legislation – in signing it into law, he accomplished a feat the Clintons were unable to achieve. It is a daunting piece of legislation made all the more complex by Obama’s compromises with big business and conservatives that resulted in a long-drawn out roll-out and piecemeal implementation.

But the law has survived many assassination attempts, including a Supreme Court case. Now, on the eve of the highly anticipated roll-out of the state-by-state health insurance exchanges, the law seems to have survived a last-ditch Republican attempt to kill it.

Starting on October 1st, Americans who do not have health insurance through employment and/or have been unable to obtain affordable coverage from private insurance companies, will be able to choose from a variety of options via a state-run marketplace of health plans. Economist Dean Baker, who is a critic of Obamacare and a strong advocate of a Medicare-for-all plan, says the law is actually “better than you think.”

GUEST: Dean Baker, co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research in Washington, DC, author of a number of books including False Profits: Recovering from the Bubble Economy, and The End of Loser Liberalism: Making Markets Progressive.

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