Editorial: Single minded

Since the day Congress passed it — in fact, long before that — Republicans have been obsessed with scuttling the Affordable Care Act ... or, as it has become known, Obamacare.

It’s an obsession that has consumed them, to the detriment of their ability to govern and serve the best interests of the American public.

At first, opponents rested most of their hopes for reversing course with the federal courts. But when the Supreme Court upheld much of the law, congressional Republicans, particularly in the House, resorted to other means, some of which went over the line into demagoguery.

Taking to the airwaves and spouting dubious statistics, for example, or flooding mailboxes with scary scenarios.

Meanwhile, more than 40 times during the last three years, the House has taken up some measure to turn back, cut, shave away or dismantle an aspect of the health care overhaul. Meanwhile over in the Senate, there’s a group that is trying to block a government bill that would provide the money for implementation of the program.

With the Democrats in control of the Senate and the White House, most of these efforts are for naught.

What a waste of time.

It’s even more shameful when you consider that those seeking to see that the Affordable Care Act never comes into effect don’t offer anything as a meaningful alternative when it comes to providing coverage for millions of Americans who don’t have insurance ... and for those with insurance who too often could be told their condition wasn’t covered.

Instead, it has been a push to return to the status quo.

Just how is that doing something to improve the lives of Americans?

What’s the truth about the Act? Here’s what can be safely said:

About 25 million Americans who don’t have health insurance now are expected to be covered under the Affordable Care Act.

About 85 percent of Americans already with insurance won’t really notice an impact from the law.

As for controlling costs, we’ll get a better idea when the health exchanges, where the states offer health insurance, are up and running. To date, the public is seeing that in some states, like New York and Maryland, monthly premiums appear to be below Congressional Budge Office projections while in others, they may go up.

We’ll see.

In any case, it’s clear the Affordable Care Act isn’t perfect.

A truly functioning Congress would be tinkering with parts of the law with the goal of improving its performance.

We’ll see about that, as well.

But it’s clear that most Americans aren’t interested in turning back the clock and will probably be even less so inclined once they see the real differences being made.

In the meantime, we hope most Republicans quietly change their tune and begin to work to help their constituents deal with this very difficult problem.

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