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In Time this week, Stephen Brill catches up with a couple who had serious health care issues and desperately needed insurance:
When we spoke in October and Stephanie told me she didn't "think Obamacare will help us," I suggested that she might be mistaken and that if she was unable to get information from the then sputtering website she should consult an insurance broker. (Insurers pay the brokers' fees, not consumers.)
"When they came to my office, Stephanie told me right up front, 'I don't want any part of Obamacare,' " recalls health-insurance agent Barry Cohen. "These were clearly people who don't like the President. So I kind of let that slide and just asked them for basic information and told them we would go on the Ohio exchange"—which is actually the Ohio section of the federal Obamacare exchange—"and show them what's available."
What Stephanie soon discovered, she told me in mid-November, "was a godsend."
This kind of story is quickly becoming a classic, along the lines of "Keep the government out of my Medicare." But I still wonder whether, in the end, this is good or bad for Obamacare. Obviously, getting people signed up is good, regardless of how it happens. But how many people who are benefiting from Obamacare will become supporters of Obamacare? You'd think that virtually all of them would, but if they don't really know they're benefiting from Obamacare, maybe they won't.
Then again, maybe it's all for the best. If Republicans try to cripple Obamacare in some way, the word will quickly go out in all 50 states that Congress is doing something that will damage Kynect or Covered California or Healthy NY or whatever. Maybe that actually makes Obamacare safer than ever.