Muftic: It’s time to sign up for Obamacare again
November 20, 2014
Open enrollment for Obamacare has already begun and to be insured by Jan. 1, sign ups must be completed by Dec. 15.
Grand County has cut its uninsured numbers in half and the Colorado state-run exchange is ranked as one of the four best run sites in the U.S. for signing up for insurance. The exchange is where you can compare policies and buy private health insurance, and it provides a method to administer subsidies to make insurance affordable based on an individual's or family's income level.
This is not the same sign up site as the one that got so much bad publicity last year. That was the federal site to be used by states that did not set up their own exchanges. Our Colorado state site had a relatively smooth rollout. The site is http://www.connectforhealthco.com or call 855-752-6749 for free in-person help. Consumer Reports has a site that may help you understand the law at https://tools.healthlawhelper.org
If you do not get health insurance from your employer or parents and you are not already covered by Medicare or Medicaid or the exchange, this is the year that the penalties for those not having insurance become significant.
Some in Congress want to take affordable health insurance away by repealing the entire law. It will not happen. Bills repealing Obamacare will be vetoed by President Obama and there are not enough votes in Congress to override the veto.
There was a loud flap about the three million who had those high deductible sub-standard insurance policies and faced losing them, calling foul because of broken promises to be allowed to keep their insurance or their doctors. Those who would like to take away Obamacare insurance from the 20 million who will have had it by the end of 2015 need to remember that most of those getting insurance in the exchanges did not even have a doctor they wanted to keep because they could not afford insurance in the first place.
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Some in Congress favor fixes instead of repealing the law. That includes repealing taxes on medical devices and removing the mandate that employers provide insurance for their employees or pay into Obamacare to cover their employees they dump into the exchanges. A way to replace the income generated by these taxes, savings and fines to finance Obamacare has not been proposed.
Obamacare may cost $1.3 trillion (billions less, per the Congressional Budget Office) over 10 years, but it actually reduces the deficit, according to the Congressional Budget Office, because these fines, savings and taxes offset costs and reduces the rate of cost increases. If the GOP fails to fund the fixes, the deficit will indeed be run up.
A Supreme Court decision in the future may take away subsidies provided by the federal exchange, but Colorado has a state-run exchange that would not be immediately affected. In the long term, financial soundness of the law could be affected if many other states do not establish their own state exchanges.
For data sources, visit http://www.mufticforumblog.blogspot.com.