There’s a Latin term for why some people wrongly blame Obamacare for everything

Most of us, at one time or another, have a tendency to blame a certain problem on a certain something that preceded it — no matter if there really isn’t any cause-and-effect relationship. Just because the weather turned bad only after you arrived at the picnic doesn’t mean it’s your fault. This kind of reckless laying of blame seems to apply in certain criticisms of Obamacare. Ed Kilgore EXPLAINS: This is known in logic as the “post hoc ergo propter hoc” (after this therefore because of this) fallacy, which is extraordinarily common and the source of all sorts of superstitions and mistaken impressions. And it’s not a terribly surprising problem when you consider the combination of hype (positive and negative) and complexity surrounding the Affordable Care Act. (Snip) The “questionable cause” fallacy is also, of course, a problem for Obama in other areas, too, notably the blame he has assumed for economic conditions he inherited, whose persistence, moreover, owes a great deal to Republican obstruction. As for Obamacare, we can only hope Americans who blame the law for all the “preexisting conditions” in the health care system don’t find out otherwise because its benefits have been abruptly taken away by the U.S. Supreme Court.    ...

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Survey: How doctors feel about Obamacare depends on their political affiliations

If you think your own opinions on the Affordable Care Act will be better informed if you check with how health-care professionals feel about the matter, think again. Those folks are at least as sharply divided on the issue as everyone else. That’s the principal finding of THIS POLL: When it comes to health care politics, it looks like doctors and nurses are just as partisan as the rest of us. A survey released Thursday found that as a whole, primary-care providers are slightly more likely to view the Affordable Care Act unfavorably than favorably, but breaking the group down by political affiliation reveals a sharp divide between Republicans and Democrats. While 52 percent of all primary-care physicians viewed the law unfavorably, the vast majority of Republicans, 87 percent, had a negative opinion of it, compared with just 12 percent of Democrats. The survey, conducted by the Kaiser Family Foundation and the Commonwealth Fund, also found that despite negative perceptions of the law itself, doctors are less negative on its effect on their ability to provide quality care, with 59 percent saying the quality this year is as good as it was before the ACA. The rest of the respondents were split equally between those who thought that ability had gotten worse and those who thought it had improved. Doctors who’d taken on additional Medicaid or newly insured patients in the year since the expansion took effect were slightly more likely to think the quality of care they were providing had improved....

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Old people who hate Obamacare generally don’t know what they’re talking about

As an elderly person myself — I’m 72 — I can understand that lots of people my age and especially those who are older can become confused by the increasing complexity of life in the 21st century. But even I am surprised at the extent of opposition to Obamacare among geezers, virtually none of whom are directly affected by the law, at least in any negative way. Public opinion polls, for example, show that repeal of Obamacare is mostly strongly supported by old folks, as if they find the law a burden. It’s actually the opposite of a burden. Brian Beutler EXPLAINS: Only a third of the country supports full repeal, and, like the Republican coalition itself, it is a very old third—comprised of the only people in the country with almost no stake in the law’s core costs and benefits. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation…the law is under water—barely. Forty one percent of respondents hold favorable views of the ACA, while 43 percent hold unfavorable views. But if you break it out by age cohort, you find that that two percent margin is entirely attributable to people who have aged out of the program. (Snip) It’s not that the elderly would experience no change at all if Obamacare were to be repealed. Their prescription drug costs would increase, their Medicare advantage premiums and benefits might change. But even if seniors have legitimate gripes with the ACA’s Medicare reforms, it doesn’t stand to reason that we should care—at all—about their views of the law’s coverage expansion in general.        ...

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It seems that the Republican effort to repeal Obamacare is pretty much over

Don’t expect Republicans in Congress to shout about it from the rooftops, but it appears that they’ve dismounted their favorite legislative hobby horse: They’re no longer trying to repeal Obamacare.- The story is HERE: After five years and more than 50 votes in Congress, the Republican campaign to repeal the Affordable Care Act is essentially over. GOP congressional leaders, unable to roll back the law while President Obama remains in office and unwilling to again threaten a government shutdown to pressure him, are focused on other issues, including trade and tax reform. Less noted, senior Republican lawmakers have quietly incorporated many of the law’s key protections into their own proposals, including guaranteeing coverage and providing government assistance to help consumers purchase insurance. And although the law remains very unpopular with GOP voters, more than 20 million Americans now depend on it for health benefits, making even some of the most conservative Republicans loath to cut off coverage.    ...

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Justice Scalia naively says he expects that the GOP can produce an alternative to Obamacare

The oral argument before the U.S. Supreme Court the other day in a case involving a legal challenge to Obamacare was good for one thing, if nothing else: It showed that Justice Antonin Scalia is a real piece of work (to borrow a popular term of a few decades back). The evidence of this arose when Scalia argued that the disastrous consequences of overturning Obamacare could easily be mitigated by Congress. Oh, yeah. Sure they could. This Republican Congress is ready and able to replace Obamacare with its own health-care reforms. And it don’t rain in Indianapolis in the summertime. Scott Lemieux EXPLAINS the reality of Scalia’s nonsense: Scalia’s argument, of course, came straight from a land of willful fantasy. It’s tempting to dismiss Scalia’s comments as politically naïve, but I think it’s more pernicious than that. Scalia has long shown an affinity for the most witless Fox News talking points. Republicans have been making a conscious effort to reassure the court that they have a plan should the court gut the ACA. Needless to say, they don’t actually have any plan — pretending to have a plan is their only plan. Indeed, Republicans in Congress are so dysfunctional that they can barely even pretend to have a serious alternative, and any  attempt to fix the law would assuredly be stillborn. The Republican alternative should the court willfully misread the law and ruin the federally established exchanges is a con somewhat less sophisticated than selling oceanfront property in Wyoming — but it’s good enough for Scalia!      ...

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