An unintended side effect of national health care reform may have been the discovery of America’s funny bone.
The comedian Billy Eichner’s video “Obamacare or Shut Up!” runs a battery of tests on starlet Olivia Wilde, while Terrance Bagger hits the streets to take the temperature of Americans about the initiative. Turns out, the temperature is pretty high at one Tea Party event he visits (while wearing tea bags from his glasses, no less). And in the video above (a sneak peek exclusively for TakePart), Eddie George pleads ignorance about the perils of soda consumption, telling his doctor he's never been able to afford health care.
For politicians who have been duking it out over the Affordable Care Act—also known as Obamacare—there haven’t been many punch lines.
One issue that has been at the core of the debate is how the law’s costs will affect employers. Republicans threatened that the act would result in a reduction in job openings because of employers’ concerns about increased health insurance costs.
However, a new survey from the National Association for Business Economics found that nearly 75 percent of the U.S. companies surveyed said Obamacare will have no effect on their businesses or hiring plans.
Only about 6 percent of respondents said they will be hiring more part-time workers and fewer full-time staff. Another 8 percent said they plan to hire less of all types of workers.
Analysis of the job market’s performance in 2013 supports that survey’s findings. While overall employment rose about 2 percent last year, part-time jobs fell a bit, less than 1 percent. That shines some light on the argument that the numbers there would surge.
It’s unclear if there will be long-term repercussions, but as yet, the worst-case economic scenario hasn’t played out.
Now, four years after the ink dried on Obamacare, Republicans have announced that they have a counterproposal. Their plan would allow insurers to penalize those with preexisting conditions in some cases and makes it harder for poor people to qualify for tax credits.
That's despite polling indicating that 82 percent of Americans favor banning insurance companies from denying coverage to people with preexisting conditions. That's also without regard for the fact that Republicans have opposed federal minimum wage increases that would help millions of America's working poor escape the crushing poverty that has taken hold.
But following the facts to see if they align with your saber rattling and threats doesn’t seem to be on the agenda for the Republicans who are archly opposed to the president’s landmark legislation.
After all, where’s the fun in that?