Here’s the odd thing: At no point in his op-ed does Johnson ever argue that the Affordable Care Act would’ve made his daughter’s surgery less likely. And that’s because it wouldn’t. Johnson’s daughter was covered under Johnson’s health-care insurance. Johnson’s health-care insurance was provided by Johnson’s employer, a plastics manufacturer based in Oshkosh, Wis. There is nothing in the law that would’ve made the insurance offered by Johnson’s employer less generous or would dictate what treatments can and cannot be covered. The story about his daughter is, in all respects save for one, a complete red herring.
The better way to understand Johnson’s story is that his daughter was born with a life-threatening condition, but because she was covered by health-care insurance, the medical system raced to save her. There are a lot of families, however, who don’t have the sort of comprehensive insurance that Johnson’s employer gave him. They are not insured at all, in fact. Their daughters do not get the care that Johnson’s daughter got. The main point of the Affordable Care Act, of course, is to make sure they do get that insurance, and get that care. Johnson’s experience is an excellent argument for the Affordable Care Act, even if his op-ed is meant as an attack on it.