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Alex Kotch(Cross-posted from the website Vocativ.com)

Obamacare is actually good. No, really

By Alex Kotch

I’m a low-income PhD student with a shaky health history and limited earning capacity. The Affordable Care Act should improve my quality of life. But will it?

This isn’t the answer you tend to hear on the news, but yeah, it will. Dramatically.

Here’s my background. I’m a 30-year-old, soon-to-be PhD graduate with an expected income in 2014, the first year of Obamacare, not much above the minimum wage. My $190-a-month student health plan runs out the day Obamacare starts. I’m a nonsmoker, but I have had some serious health issues in the past. In the eyes of health insurers, I’m hardly a solid bet. So Obamacare should, if it’s fit for purpose, help me out of a bind when I go to change my plan. Let’s see if that holds up. Read More

Senator Bob Rucho’s tweet that “Justice Robert’s pen & Obamacare has done more damage to the USA then the swords of the Nazis,Soviets & terrorists combined” (see below) is bringing more unwanted national attention to the Old North State.

Among the outlets covering the absurd and offensive comment:

Seems likely that Jon Stewart and/or Stephen Colbert won’t be gar behind.

Meanwhile, Kevin Rogers of Action NC offers the following as a partial response: Read More

Bob RuchoAs noted in last week’s Weekly Briefing, hyperbole and dramatic overstatements have their place in politics.  That said,  it’s also true that those holding public office should possess some minimal connection to reality and basic human decency. And in these latter two categories, Senator Bob Rucho of Mecklenburg County has raised real questions about his fitness for public office with his public statement on Twitter yesterday that:

“Justice Robert’s pen & Obamacare has done more damage to the USA then the swords of the Nazis,Soviets & terrorists combined.”

As Rabbi Judy Schindler of Charlotte’s Temple Beth El told the Charlotte Observer:

“The systematic murder of 11 million human beings, among them 6 million Jews … and acts of terrorists using explosives to indiscriminately decimate the lives of men, women and children can in no way be compared to legislation aimed at expanding health care accessibility and quality insurance for the poor. Comparing the two is deeply offensive.”

Of course, all who “tweet” have undoubtedly “said” things they’d like to take back. But good grief! State senators ought  to have enough common sense to think about their words before hitting the “Tweet” button. Rucho needs to do much more than “clarify” the intent of his statement; he needs to specifically and unequivocally apologize ASAP.

The Affordable Care Act needs lots more work, but it is also an essential and incredibly important step toward improving the American health care system: That’s one of the central messages that was delivered to a large and engaged audience yesterday at an NC Policy Watch Crucial Conversation breakfast by Lynn Quincy of Consumers Union, publisher of Consumer Reports magazine.  You can watch the video of the event below — Quincy’s talk starts at around the 6:30 mark. You can also check out her PowerPoint presentation by clicking here.

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Lynn QuincyIn case you missed the excellent explanation of the Affordable Care Act by Lynn Quincy of Consumers Union at this morning’s NC Policy Watch Crucial Conversation breakfast in Raleigh, don’t fret — we’ll have a video of the event posted shortly. In the mean time, click here to view a PDF version of Lynn’s slides — which also include several helpful web links to sites maintained by the folks at Consumers Union/Consumer reports.