Sep 26 2013
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.