Americans want Trump to focus on healthcare first

Judith QuinnNov 20, 2016

One of the biggest questions concerns the Affordable Care Act (i.e. Obamacare), the 2010 legislation meant to improve health insurance for more people. During his election campaign, Trump suggested repealing the Affordable Care Act, commonly called Obamacare, which was enacted in March 2010.

But Moultrie is telling those she helps not to be too concerned about it.

"Grand Lake Health System's doors are open to everyone", she said.

However, Trump said he would retain parts of Obamacare, specifically those in which parents are able to keep children on their health insurance plans until they are 26.

"You can't unscramble an egg". The insurance marketplace, where many people will need to get or renew their health insurance for 2017, is not open long; you need to enroll by December 15 to be covered at the beginning of the New Year.

Those anxious customers don't need to hurry, according to health care economist Lynn Bailey.

Covered California officials said that Trump's plan to "repeal and replace" the Affordable Care Act has created confusion among enrollees but that people are still signing up.

Doreena Wong, a project director at the Los Angeles-based nonprofit Asian Americans Advancing Justice, said consumers have already begun to express doubts on whether they should bother enrolling.

Stryker is uncertain about whether the Affordable Care Act will be suspended or repealed and how and when the changes will take place. "The state pays for a lot of hospital subsidies, public health programs, needle exchanges".

California's rate of uninsurance has been cut roughly in half since 2014, when federally subsidized health plans sold through the exchange first took effect and eligibility for Medicaid, the health care program for low-income individuals, was expanded.

"That leads to an increased cost of care across the state", Goodwin said. The number of uninsured New Yorkers has declined by almost 850,000 and between 2013 and 2015, the rate of uninsured declined from 10 percent to 5 percent.

Matthew Martinez with Dimensional Financial Services Corp says, "People need to focus on how they can fill those gaps if and when they lose coverage".

Goodwin estimates another 20,000 South Carolinians are eligible for health-care subsidies but haven't used them. According to one conservative estimate, about 4 million people would be dumped into such pools if Obamacare were repealed.

Obamacare has some significant structural problems, all stemming from the way it gives the whip-hand to insurance companies, who get to demand ever-larger sums from both the government and Obamacare users; nevertheless, the ability to get insurance makes an enormous difference for people contemplating starting innovative businesses and stepping away from big, lumbering corporations that are big enough to extend coverage to their employees.

Otherwise, Bailey added, "Insurance companies. will have to charge unbelievable premiums that nobody can afford".

A key question for lawmakers is whether they'll go repeal Obamacare immediately, even before Trump's inauguration, or will they wait until they have a replacement plan queued up, which could take months or even years to pull together. Last year, during the same time frame (the second week of enrollment) the daily average was around 76,000. And because the ACA included taxes, the analysis says, repeal would swell the federal deficit.

"Maybe people see this as one last opportunity, or perhaps they want to show their support for the ACA", Trish said. She and another worker have been "constantly booked" during this year's enrollment period.

The 2017 early sign-up figures are for November 1-12, while the closest numbers from previous year cover a full two weeks, which may explain some of the shortfall.

January 31, 2017: Last day to enroll in or change a 2017 health plan.

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