Happy Birthday, Affordable Care Act.

Photo from ProgressOhio.org
  • Photo from ProgressOhio.org

Today, President Obama’s signature legislation, the Affordable Care Act (aka “Obamacare”), turns two. Despite all the opposition shrieking and hair-tearing (“Government takeover!” “Death panels!” “Rationing!), the sky has not fallen and most people probably haven’t noticed any difference, although for those who benefit — like children with serious health issues who can’t be denied coverage and post-college young people who can stay on their parents policies until age 26 — it’s been huge.

Unfortunately, Ohio lieutenant governor Mary Taylor, who as director of the Department of Insurance was tasked with setting up the health care exchange required by the bill, isn’t doing any celebrating. She’s been dithering about getting to work on the exchange, and yesterday, a group of health-care advocates attempting to deliver petitions to her office urging her to get a move on, got the heave-ho, based on a bizarre technicality:

The petitioners were told their petition would only be accepted in the mail and that any rights for citizens to access a government office were null and void since the Dept. of Insurance is housed in a leased space. The protesters asked for a written policy and the police were called.

It’s not terribly comforting that our elected officials think citizens’ rights are “null and void” if they just move their desks into another building. — Anastasia Pantsios

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