In an op-ed piece in Saturday’s Miami Herald, Rep. Frederica Wilson (D-FL) thanked Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) for his singular contributions to efforts to promote the Affordable Care Act — also known as Obamacare. Wilson posited in her essay that no one did as much to call attention to the program and the opening of the health insurance markets as the junior Senator from Texas.
“I would like to thank Sen. Ted Cruz,” wrote Wilson. “Without his impassioned all-night rant on the Senate floor, fewer Americans would have access to healthcare today. Seriously.”
While most people knew that Cruz’s faux-filibuster was just a great deal of sound and fury, Wilson said “all the media buzz about his antics served as a reminder to millions of Americans that the Obamacare launch was just around the corner,” thus ensuring that people who wanted to sign up knew when to do so.
She continued, “And so, on Oct. 1, such a tremendous number of people visited healthcare.gov to sign up for insurance that the website malfunctioned due to a traffic overload. The site, which, like many major government and corporate websites, was designed to support 50,000 to 60,000 users at a time, faced up to 250,000 users at any given moment.”
More than 10 million have visited the site now, she reported, and yet “conservative attacks against Obamacare today are far tougher — and more reckless — than any attacks on social safety net expansions in the past. No one ever threatened to shut down the U.S. government or, worse, to default on America’s debt obligations to protest 20th Century efforts to expand healthcare and economic security.”
“But there is a silver lining to the Republican storm over Obamacare: It’s raised public awareness about a program that will bring quality affordable health coverage to millions of people who desperately need it,” she concluded.
David Ferguson is an editor at Raw Story. He was previously writer and radio producer in Athens, Georgia, hosting two shows for Georgia Public Broadcasting and blogging at Firedoglake.com and elsewhere. He is currently working on a book.
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