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Obamacare Implementation

The Affordable Care Act is already benefitting millions of middle class families, and its benefits will be even broader after enrollment opens for the Health Insurance Marketplace on October 1.

A recent report by HHS shows that the rates for coverage through state marketplaces will be significantly less than initial projections. A recent CNBC poll indicated that a plurality of Americans oppose repealing Obamacare. In addition, 59% of Americans oppose the Republican gambit of shutting down the government or defaulting on our obligations in order to defund Obamacare.

Republicans are so focused on undermining the President and his legislative agenda to boost the economy and improve access to health care for all Americans, they’re willing to devastate the economy and hurt the economic wellbeing of ordinary Americans. Republicans know that the only way Obamacare will fail is if they succeed in discouraging Americans from taking advantage of the savings by enrolling in the health-care marketplace. That is the reason that Republicans at the state level are using every available tactic to make it more difficult for Americans to enroll in the exchanges that open on October 1.

Americans have already been enjoying the benefits of Obamacare.

  • The ACA requires insurance companies to spend at least 80 percent of premium dollars on medical care and health care quality improvement, rather than on administrative costs and overhead. If they don’t, the insurance companies must provide a rebate to their customers.
  • According to a report from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, in 2012 8.5 million consumers received half a billion dollars in refunds – with the average consumer receiving a refund of around $100 per family. Moreover, in 2012, 77.8 million consumers saved $3.4 billion up front on their premiums as insurance companies operated more efficiently as compared to 2011. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services recently released new data showing the average refunds Americans are receiving in each state. This data is available HERE.
  • Since ACA was passed in 2010, many Americans have enjoyed access to preventive services at no cost. Those preventive services were available to Medicare recipients beginning in 2011, and that same year the ACA offered recipients a 50 percent discount on drugs in the Medicare “donut hole.”

Starting next week, Americans will have the opportunity to put themselves on track for additional savings through health-care reform, thanks to the opening of the Health Insurance Marketplace.

  • On October 1, when the new Health Insurance Marketplace open for business, millions of Americans will be able comparison shop for a variety of quality, affordable plans that best meet their health care needs. Preliminary data shows that the competition and transparency that these marketplaces will create for individual and group insurance will result in health care plans that are both higher quality and more affordable.
  • Additionally, a new analysis from the Department of Health and Human Services finds that premiums nationwide will be around 16 percent lower than originally expected. http://www.hhs.gov/news/press/2013pres/09/20130925a.html)
  • The same report found that roughly six in 10 people who don’t have health insurance today will be able to get coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplace for less than $100 per month.
  • State-by-state impact of health-care reform is available at HHS’s interactive website.

Polls show that Americans support key components of the Affordable Care Act and oppose repeal. At the same time, surveys indicate that Americans reject the gambit by Republicans to shut down the government or default on our obligations unless Obamacare is defunded.

  • A poll by the Kaiser Family Foundation found that a large majority of respondents support the ACA’s tax credits for small businesses who offer their employees insurance, the closing of the Medicare “doughnut hole,” and allowing young adults to stay on their parents’ plan till age 26.
  • Kaiser also found that early 80 percent favor the health insurance exchanges, subsidies to help individuals purchase insurance, and the expansion of Medicaid.
  • A CNBC poll released September 23 indicated that 59 percent of respondents oppose the GOP strategy of shutting down the government or defaulting on our obligations unless Obamacare is defunded.
  • As the GOP sticks to its doomed strategy, there’s a chorus of criticism in individual states that suggests the gambit isn’t playing well at the local level.
  • A CNN poll released last week found that if there is a government shutdown, 51 percent of Americans would blame Republicans while just 33 percent would blame the President.

If Republicans get their way and shut down the government, the members of Congress responsible will still get paid, but it would take a real toll on ordinary Americans.

  • Social Security benefits for seniors who depend on them could be delayed and new claims may be not be processed
  • Soldiers would be required to report for duty, but would not get paid
  • Lifesaving clinical trials at the National Institute of Health could turn new patients away, the federal disease hotline will likely go unanswered, and veterans’ compensation claims may go unanswered

Republicans know that the only way Obamacare will fail is if they succeed in discouraging Americans from taking advantage of the savings by enrolling in the health-care marketplace. That is the reason that Republicans at both the national and state level are using every available tactic to convince their residents to boycott the ACA.

  • As of September 20, House Republicans have voted 42 times to defund, gut or otherwise dismantle Obamacare.
  • Republicans in both chambers of Congress have threatened to shut down the government or default on our nation’s obligations unless Obamacare is defunded, a course that has the potential to cost billions and could even lead to another severe recession.
  • In 22 states, governments have refused to expand Medicaid, a decision that puts health-care coverage at risk for millions of Americans.
  • In 27 states, governments have refused to run their own Health Insurance Marketplace, making it necessary for the federal government to step in.
  • In 16 states, governments have imposed regulations on navigators – the groups who will help consumers sign up for insurance in the new marketplaces. In some instances, those regulations make it nearly impossible for organizations to enroll citizens in the new marketplaces.
  • In Georgia, navigators need a license from the state insurance commissioner, Ralph Hudgens, who has said that he would do “everything in (his) power to be an (Obamacare) obstructionist.”
  • In Florida, county health departments were told by their state superiors that they would not be permitted to conduct outreach on the ACA.