The Affordable Care Act wasn’t a common theme in Wednesday’s debate—maybe because it’s working.
Photo: Carly Fiorina. (Courtesy of Gage Skidmore/Wikimedia Commons)
While misinformation about vaccines was the major health topic during Wednesday’s Republican presidential debate, the biggest health care story of the last five years was notably missing from the discussion—the Affordable Care Act.
The ACA didn’t make the moderators’ list of questions, and the entire field of GOP candidates made it through the three-hour debate without addressing health care policy in any detail. None of the candidates presented policy alternatives for health care, nor did any directly criticize the single-payer proposal of Democratic candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders.
Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker’s passionate statement about his plan shows just how far “Obamacare” has fallen down the priority list:
“I’m the only one on the stage that has a plan introduced to repeal Obamacare on day one.”
There’s one possible explanation for the ACA’s limited visibility: it’s doing exactly it was supposed to do. Millions more people are insured, businesses aren’t dumping employees onto the individual market, and health care costs are under control. Our health care system still has a long way to go, but “Obamacare” doesn’t carry same the political weight it did in previous elections.
Zac Bears can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.