clock menu more-arrow no yes

John Oliver combines 5 years of wrong predictions about Obamacare into one video

John Oliver's Last Week Tonight created a supercut of premature declarations about the "end of Obamacare." It's a telling look at the manner in which political promises fuse with the news cycle to exaggerate reality.

After the US Supreme Court upheld healthcare subsidies for 6.9 million Americans in its decision on King v. Burwell, momentum to repeal the Affordable Care Act is waning, as Sarah Kliff wrote late week:

If the challengers had won, it would have thrown the health-care law into chaos. But the White House prevailing marks something equally momentous: President Obama's signature legislative accomplishment is actually, really, definitely here to stay.

"This Court challenge [was] the last point at which it seems really like the law could completely go away," says Larry Levitt, a vice president at the Kaiser Family Foundation.

Politically, momentum to repeal Obamacare is waning. Legally, Obamacare opponents are simply running out of ideas. And perhaps most importantly, Obamacare now has a large and growing constituency: an estimated 10.2 million Americans get coverage through the health law's marketplace (and millions more through Obamacare's Medicaid expansion).

The roster of false predictions since 2010

For five years – beginning just a few minutes after the ACA was signed into law at the White House – Republican and other conservative critics of the expansive healthcare program predicted the end of the law. The rosters of naysayers include former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum, Rep. Steve King (R-IA), and multiple news pundits across broadcast and cable news networks.

Also included in the reel is former Rep. Michele Marie Bachmann (R-MN), who once called Obamacare "the crown jewel of socialism." As the New York Times notes, Bachmann ended her bid for re-election after failing to secure the GOP nomination for president in 2012, and becoming the subject of an ethics investigation.

For more on Obamacare, make sure to read and share this comprehensive (and embeddable) card stack:

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for The Weeds

Get our essential policy newsletter delivered Fridays.