Obamacare Storm Clouds?
Have you wondered why you have heard little about Obamacare over the last few months or even during the 2014 election. The reason why is because it is working. Signups are going fluidly and successfully.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services reported the following.
From November 15 to December 19, nearly 6.4 million consumers selected a plan in the Federally Facilitated Marketplace (FFM) or were automatically re-enrolled, with approximately 30 percent of this total comprised of people newly signing up for Marketplace coverage. High consumer demand as we neared the December 15 deadline and the automatic enrollment process that began on December 16 contributed to the overall total.
“We still have a lot of work to do before the February 15 enrollment deadline, but this is an encouraging start. People shopped for coverage and signed up – finding more choices and greater competition,” HHS Secretary Sylvia Burwell said. “Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, so far nearly 6.4 million consumers, including about 1.9 million new consumers, have access to quality, affordable health coverage for 2015 through the federal Health Insurance Marketplace. This law is working, and families are better off as a result.”
Inasmuch as Obamacare is running smoothly, Republicans continue to plan its repeal. Their new intent is to use an obscure tool in the new Congress. The Hill reports the following.
Republicans on and off Capitol Hill are rallying behind using a rarely deployed budget tool next year to dismantle ObamaCare.
But the issue of how to use “budget reconciliation” has divided Republicans, with some calling for it to be implemented to overhaul the tax code or to push through major energy reforms.
The tool is useful because it could allow newly empowered Senate Republicans to pass legislation with a 51-vote simple majority rather than the usual 60, greatly increasing the chances of moving legislation to President Obama’s desk.
And while Obama is certain to veto anything that tries to roll back his landmark healthcare law, Republicans increasingly see reconciliation as an important messaging tool to help paint a contrast with Democrats on ObamaCare ahead of 2016.
Obamacare faces three major hurdles. The first is a Supreme Court case that could remove the subsidies from enrolled customers in states that did not create their own exchanges. The second is the chipping away at the law using the budget reconciliation process discussed above. The third is the lack of support from ‘failed Democrats‘ like Stephen Lynch (D-MA) and Chuck Schumer (D-NY).
It is imperative that more Americans continue to sign up for Obamacare. As more Americans get insurance it stabilizes prices and it penalizes anyone attempting to make substantive but unwarranted changes. Changes that cost more are potential lost votes, something politicians are very aware of.
Use this calculator to check out how much Obamacare will cost you and how much you may qualify for in subsidies. It is worth the very small effort.