Despite some indications that Republicans in Congress have given up the fight, repeal of “Obamacare” remains a reliable mantra on the presidential campaign trail for most of the GOP’s White House hopefuls.
But in North Carolina, General Assembly conservatives who dismissed the thousands of citizens who came to demonstrate against their anti-labor, anti-middle-class agenda may attack Obamacare at their peril.
For despite all that Gov. Pat McCrory and legislative leaders did to frustrate those who wanted and needed health insurance they could obtain only through federal health care exchanges – the state declined to set up its own marketplace – North Carolina remains the state with the fourth-highest ACA enrollment. New figures show nearly 460,000 people are insured thanks to the Affordable Care Act. Without this insurance, they’d be left to long waits in emergency rooms and a catch-as-catch-can health care of illnesses that need maintenance and regular scrutiny from doctors.
The fact that so many North Carolinians are enrolled speaks of the need that existed and now has been answered and of the good work of social service groups that got the uninsured enrolled despite the lack of help from state lawmakers and the governor.
Republicans should beware of using opposition to “Obamacare” as a plank in the middle of their platforms. Given the public participation in North Carolina, that’s not a sturdy place to stand.