Jonathan Chait at Daily Intelligencer on the Obamacare "rate shock" victim obsession. "The world of the Republican Party’s fever dreams has sprung to life in the mainstream media, where the Affordable Care Act now exists primarily as a series of cruel, oppressive acts of theft against innocent Americans," Chait argues. "The stories often turn out to be either more complicated than initially depicted, or wildly overblown." So why are these stories primetime news? "The news media has a natural attraction to bad news over good," Chait explains. And "there’s also an economic bias at work. Victims of rate shock are middle-class, and their travails, in general, tend to attract far more lavish coverage than the problems of the poor." Chait concludes, "What’s on display at the moment is a way of looking at the world that sanctifies defenders of the horrendous status quo and places all the burden upon those trying to change it." John McQuaid, who covers government dysfunction for Forbes and The Huffington Post, tweets this line from the piece: "'Millions Set to Gain Low-Cost Insurance' is a less attractive story than 'Florida Woman Facing Higher Costs.'"
Jonathan Cohn at The New Republic on Obamacare's mixed blessing. Obamacare will offer plans to low income Americans for little to no cost (after subsidies). But "those ultra-cheap policies are pretty threadbare. They might keep people out of bankruptcy, but they still would leave beneficiaries exposed to thousands of dollars in out-of-pocket expenses a year," Cohn argues. Obamacare's "bronze" plans sound like a good deal, but "for the most part the people who hold these policies will be responsible for paying bills out-of-pocket until those expenses hit $6,250 for an individual or $12,500 for a family — the maximum allowed under the law." Cohn argues that conservatives leave this fact out when criticizing the ACA: they're "the ones who hold up catastrophic policies as the ideal. But you never hear them applauding Obamacare for making such policies available and financially attractive." Justin Green, the online editor at the Washington Examiner, tweets, "Fair point made here by @CitizenCohn on bronze plans, but I'd prefer they be allowed to be even more catastrophic."