Daniel Tilson: It’s time for the latest anti-Obama tide to turn

It’s time the tide turned on the wave of anti-Obama rhetoric that washed across America like a toxic red tide of disinformation and distrust in the wake of the problem-plagued rollout of Affordable Care Act health insurance exchanges.

There’s no need to be ignorant of or blind to the mistakes our president and his administration made in crafting and launching this historic first attempt to insure most of the nation’s 48 million or so uninsured citizens.

But there’s a desperate need to tune out the conservative noise machine, calm down, think clearly (for ourselves), and see the Big Picture.

Miscalculations and mistakes inevitably come with the territory of having the most complicated job in the country. They don’t in and of themselves warrant the wanton questioning of President Obama’s competence and character that we’ve seen.

Sure, O’Reilly, Limbaugh, Boehner, McConnell and all the rest did as expected, twisting and conjoining the Obamacare website’s early dysfunction and private insurer misbehavior with hysterical cries of “Disaster!” and “Lies!”

But we don’t have to fall for it, do we? We can do better, most of us, anyway.

We can take a deep breath and recognize that it’s the origins, nature and gravity of our miscalculations and mistakes that should and do matter most, along with the degree to which we acknowledge and correct them.

We can understand that such a basic moral code applies to our president too.

Yet along with being more distrusting than ever, a whole lot of us are proving to be more unforgiving than ever; unless mistakes made by elected officials are the “human” kind that we can identify and empathize with, like sexual misconduct, or substance abuse.

Barack Obama’s mistakes don’t fall into that category. On the contrary, except for outright “birthers” and other extremist haters, most Americans still believe he’s a highly moral, spiritual and devoted family man.

The president’s supposedly unforgiveable mistakes then, have been largely political.

Sadly, many of the very same working poor and middle class people benefiting from the Affordable Care Act and a long list of other presidential accomplishments have been turned into unforgiving doubters by conservative money, media and politics.

This, even though the president has taken responsibility and apologized for the dysfunctional rollout of the healthcare.gov website, and for the insurance industry’s undermining of his pledge that people would be able to keep their old coverage.

This, even though after a rushed debut and awful early performance, the incredibly complicated website is now working pretty well, with more people enrolling in new insurance exchange plans in two early December days than in the prior two months.

This, even though most of the 5 percent or so of Americans whose low-price, low-coverage individual plans are being dropped by insurers will find far better, and in some cases less costly, replacement coverage on the exchanges.

This, even though more than a million uninsured working poor people nationwide are now insured because of the law’s expansion of Medicaid coverage.

This, even though the law has abolished some of the most inhumane, unfair business practices used by the private insurance industry for so long.

This, even though the law is saving senior citizens and working families thousands of dollars a year and offering free preventive health screenings to all Americans.

This, even though conservative politicians and media pundits twisting public opinion against Obama want to take away almost all that the law has accomplished, and will accomplish, without any viable alternative plan to take its place.

Think Big Picture.

We can do better than that.

Daniel Tilson


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