Interesting read from Vox:
Even though they are both parts of the Affordable Care Act, people seem to be drawing a distinction between the Medicaid expansion and “Obamacare”. Medicaid is popular, while “Obamacare” is not. As the article points out, that’s leading Republicans to try to focus on “Obamacare”, while trying to distract from the fact that their health care bills mainly will cut Medicaid (in order to fund tax cuts for the wealthy).
I keep putting “Obamacare” in quotes because that term means different things to different people. In this case, it seems to mean two things: the ACA insurance marketplaces for uninsured middle-class and higher-income earners, and the requirement that these folks buy private insurance industry products or pay a penalty (the so-called individual mandate). Other parts of “Obamacare” are more popular, like the requirement that insurers cover everyone regardless of pre-existing conditions (so-called guaranteed issue).
So, the Medicaid expansion – which more-or-less was an expansion of a single-payer option for the poor, complete with guaranteed issue – is proving to be a winner. Seems like something a political party looking to be successful in the U.S. could learn from.