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Friday, June 26, 2015

Thoughts On the Week's Big Story And Of Governors And Walruses 

The big story this week was the US Supreme Court decision on Obamacare, although the high court's Friday ruling legalizing gay marriage nationwide wasn't far behind.

We'll probably be referring to Obamacare in the years ahead like we do Medicare and Medicaid. The bureaucratic jargon aside, healthcare and health insurance is a very human story. This illustration from northern Democratic Congressman Ben Ray Lujan brings it home:

Behind all of these numbers are real people. My staff and I are all on the health care exchange, and for one of my staffers (the congressman's district director) it has made a world of difference.

The year she went on the ACA exchange she was diagnosed with an aggressive form of breast cancer that required surgery and numerous scans. Through all of the procedures and doctor’s visits, not once did she have to worry that her diagnosis was going to mean bankruptcy or losing her house. She paid her deductible and her bills were paid within weeks; no procedure or test was ever denied, and therefore care was never delayed. And now, she won’t have to worry that in the future she could be at risk of being discriminated against for having a pre-existing condition. Those fears are a thing of the past.

Will a future president and congress repeal Obamacare? There were efforts to stop Social Security and Medicare but today no one wants to live without them. Basic health insurance for all Americans seems destined to join them. The bet in this corner is that in the years ahead Obamacare expands--not contracts.

GOVERNORS AND WALRUSES

ABQ reader Art Schreiber said he got a kick out of this column from Gail Collins of the NYT and he thought you might as well:

Is it my imagination, or are half the governors in the country running for president? On the Republican side they're piling up like ... those huge stacks of walruses we see off the coast of Alaska now that there's global warming. A stack of governors! Different from the walruses only in 1) lack of tusks, and 2) failure to believe that melting ice floes are a serious problem. . .

Good one, Art. And radio personality Larry Ahrens sends us into a summer weekend with this New Mexico rib tickler:

The one thing uniting all of us regardless of age, gender, religion or ethnicity is that we ALL believe that we are very good drivers.

Thanks for stopping by this week.

Reporting from Albuquerque, I'm Joe Monahan

This is the home of New Mexico politics.

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