The Affordable (Health) Care Act (ACA) which is “affectionately” referred to as Obamacare, was signed into Law in 2010. The enrollment period begins on October 1, and the most of the rest of it goes into effect on January 1st. The delay (which is common in Federal Legislation) was to enable the various states to decide whether they would establish their own insurance exchanges, or just go with the National Program. Businesses have recently received an additional one-year extension.
In a recent Blog Post, I wrote that sometimes journalists and talk-show pundits fail to add the proper emphasis–either by omission or on purpose–which can change the entire meaning of the comments. That Post referred to the FED’s easing up slightly on low interest rates. Today, however, I have seen another, I believe more blatant, mis-representation, regarding ACA.
So far, the Republican-controlled House has voted 40 times to repeal ACA, knowing full well that it will never pass the Senate–and President Barack Obama will surely VETO it. I’ve noticed several articles in today’s newspapers that cited Obamacare as leaving some people without Health Care Insurance. That’s because they earn too much to qualify for Medicaid, and not enough to receive the tax credits to help them buy the insurance. Rightfully so, it points to the Supreme Court not mandating extended Medicaid coverage; but, leaving that up to the individual state to decide. Unfortunately, the articles seem to place the blame on Obamacare, rather than on the true culprits.
Twenty-three states, I believe mostly Republican-controlled, chose not to accept the extended Medicaid coverage. The ACA provision would have enabled Families to qualify as long as they made 138% (or less) of the Federal Poverty Level. Florida, for instance, only allows Medicaid coverage for Families with a maximum of 19% of the FPL (if non-working) and 56% (with a working parent).
That means that the states that opted-out–even though the Federal Government would have financed virtually all of the Medicaid extension costs–are just hurting their own citizens. It’s important to keep in mind that the additional Federal coverage would just be retuning tax Dollars, which its residents have paid, back to the states. Twenty-four states have elected the Medicaid extension, and the others are undecided.
I recall, back in the height of the recent Great Recession (2008-09), President Obama had offered much-needed Stimulus Money to the states; however, some Republican-controlled ones chose not to accept it. Perhaps there might still be time for the states to change their minds on ACA. But, so far, the Republicans have done everything they can to declare that Obamacare is not working–even it if hurts their own citizens.
I believe that the Republicans are pulling-out all the stops to turn the Country against Obamacare. And more recently, they have engaged at the state level–turning down extended Medicare, denying Insurance Commissioners the ability to negotiate for better prices from health care providers and, now, they are going to be screening the claims of their own constituents under ACA. If they can doing it here, you can be sure its in the works in your state, as well.