Since it was signed into law in 2010, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) or Obamacare, has been constantly assailed.
There are real objections to the program, but politics clearly drove some of the backlash.
Ultimately, time will tell the economic impact of the ACA, described as the biggest change in American healthcare since in 1965. Maybe we will come to see that it has merit or maybe we will see fit to repeal it. The fact that it is the subject of little discussion in the ongoing presidential campaign could signal a growing acceptance.
In any event, the furor over the plan to expand insurance to millions of Americans has been a disservice to those who could actually benefit from it: The working poor, whom we strongly urge to investigate the opportunity now offered for healthcare.
You can argue politics all day long but if you have a pre-existing condition or have never been able to afford proper healthcare for your family, the ACA has opened a new door.
Hearing constantly how big forces were hard at work to repeal it or that it is filled glitches or because it came from a president who is widely disliked may have kept many from taking a look at what it really does for them.
Even if you share 100 anti-Obama Facebook posts every day, you may find the ACA to your family’s financial and medical advantage.
There are a couple of ways people can learn more and there is a deadline of January 31st to join during Open Enrollment for this year.
First you can go straight to healthcare.gov and see for yourself.
Second, there will be a “certified navigator” at the library January 28th to help you.
Finally, the well respected Good Samaritan Health and Wellness Clinic in Jasper has an employee, Myrna Denson, with the title “assister” and that is what she does. Good Sam does this at no cost to help them better provide healthcare to the community.
According to the people at Good Sam, there are tangible benefits of having this insurance if you were formerly uninsured.
While they are sticking to their mission statement of not turning anyone away, Good Sam leaders stress that when it comes to major medical issues (heart attack, cancer, surgery) there is a limit to what they can provide. That’s where the insurance comes in.
Certified Navigator Vincent Spann, who will be at the library Thursday, described it more bluntly, “If you and your family are in a horrible car wreck and everyone is injured, you will need this [if you don’t already have insurance].” He went on to state that bankruptcies are often tied to unexpected medical bills.
There are numerous plan options, exemptions for income, tax credits, different deductibles and different monthly bills. Without a person’s particulars, it’s hard to give a cost. Spann found a hypothetical plan during a Progress interview that would cost $50 a month to handle major medical catastrophes. There is also access to some free benefits for pregnant women and newborns.
Good Sam emphasizes there are some great low-cost ways to insure children.
Good Sam’s Denson said she has seen many families who didn’t realize this coverage is available.
Spann said he finds people who don’t want insurance, who want to “risk it,” as the biggest reason more people aren’t signing up.
We suspect in addition to risking it, there are people who have gotten by without insurance for years by avoiding checkups, relying on free clinics and emergency rooms that will send bills to people who have no intention to pay them. But with new penalties for not getting coverage, it makes sense to look at your options.
As we began by saying, this isn’t an endorsement of Obamacare, but it is an encouragement for readers to find out if it’s right for them.
See ad on this page for information on the library sign up or contact Good Sam (706) 253-4673.