Keeping you up to date on the latest Obamacare facts - Today (Tuesday) marks the beginning of the much-anticipated Obamacare open enrollment for the new marketplaces - which hasn't gone smoothly.
The federal government operates these marketplaces, or exchanges, across 36 states, and the Obama administration anticipates seven million people will apply for coverage across the six-month open-enrollment period.
The exchange rollout comes as a wash of just-released polls on Obamacare shows the public hasn't embraced our country's new healthcare law.
That's why U.S. President Barack Obama has ramped up speeches and interviews this week addressing Obamacare facts and issues, along with party leaders across the country.
And he has plenty to address...
Check out these five new Obamacare facts that just entered the arena:
Obamacare Fact #1: Not All Online Marketplaces Are Working
Shocker: the online marketplaces in which people are expected to enroll have been experiencing technical glitches.
One glitch prevents the exchange from determining whether consumers are eligible for Medicaid or government subsidies. This causes substantial inaccuracies for consumers trying to figure out premium prices - which are the top concern for most consumers.
Last Thursday in a speech in Maryland, President Obama tried to quell mounting concerns over technological issues, stating that similar to other new computer programs, "There are going to be some glitches as this thing unfolds."
But the president said he's confident people will be happy with the prices and plans available to them - with some having insurance for the first time.
At the same time, some analysts worry that early problems like the technical glitches may discourage consumers from obtaining coverage.
Stay tuned to see if the glitches have a cooling effect on enrollment.
Obamacare Fact #2: The "Family Glitch" Could Leave Hundreds of Thousands of Children Without Coverage
Congress committed a drafting error in the healthcare law, now coming to fruition and dubbed the "family glitch." According to healthcare analysts, the family glitch could cost families thousands in health coverage costs and leave up to 500,000 children without any coverage.
You see, back in 2010, Congress defined "affordable" as 9.5% or less of an employee's household income. This was done to discourage people from leaving their employer's healthcare plan to get Obamacare subsidized coverage.
But here's the rub: When an employer offers affordable insurance, but doesn't extend that offer to the employee's family, they are prevented from getting subsidized help via the exchanges.
According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, an average plan for an individual costs $5,600 per year, but that number increases to $15,700 for families. If an employer is not helping out with the difference, and at the same time, the individual is blocked from gaining subsidized care from the exchanges, the family man or woman's wallet is all but bleeding on the table.
The entire purpose of Obamacare was to make coverage affordable for families. If the family glitch isn't rectified, it defeats the point.
Obamacare Fact #3: Congress Is Still Trying to Defund Obamacare
Besides the beginning of open enrollment, it also marks the start of a government shutdown due to the failure of Congress to pass a continuing resolution to fund the government.Today, 810,000 people were subject to furlough, which means they receive no paycheck for an indeterminable period of time.
GOP members of Congress over the last few days have attempted to leverage resolving the shutdown with an agreement by Obamacare proponents to defund the law for the time being.
Interestingly, many Obamacare opponents disapprove of their representatives using the shutdown to delay Obamacare.
But hard lines on both sides of the political spectrum point to an impasse.
In the same interview with NPR, President Obama stated, "[L]et's be clear: We're not going to delay the Affordable Care Act...[T]he notion that we would even delay [people]...going to a doctor to get treated for illnesses that they currently have, simply because the Republicans have decided ideologically that they're opposed to the Affordable Care Act, is not something that we're going to be discussing."
Congress continues to meet today...
Obamacare Fact #4: More Than Half of Americans Oppose ObamacareA survey released Monday by CNN/ORC International showed that 57% of Americans oppose Obamacare.
That disapproval number has gone up three percentage points from CNN's survey in May.
Also on Monday, House Speaker John Boehner stated, "It is time for the Senate to listen to the American people just as the House has listened to the American people and to pass a one year delay of Obamacare and a permanent repeal of the medical device tax."
The survey additionally found that 39% of Americans oppose Obamacare because they find it too liberal, while 11% say they oppose the law because it isn't liberal enough.
Obamacare isn't just frustrating; it's confusing.
Yesterday, a poll by the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation found that almost half of those polled said they were "confused" about Obamacare.
In fact, this chart shows that the majority of the uninsured - the class that's supposed to benefit the most from Obamacare - don't even know the exchanges opened today.
Meanwhile, slightly more than half described themselves as "worried" about the law, 29% are "angry" about it, and 24% are "enthusiastic."
Almost 75% are "very worried" or "somewhat worried" that they will have to pay more for their healthcare.
Obamacare Fact #5: Your Plan Likely Will Not Cost Less Than Your Cellphone Bill
President Obama's repeated talking point that Obamacare will cost about the same or less than your cellphone bill is fuzzy, at best.
Just last Thursday, he spoke in Maryland and said, "Knowing you can offer your family the security of health care, that's priceless. Now, you can do it for the cost of your cable bill, probably less than your cellphone bill. Think about that, good health insurance for the price of your cellphone bill or less."
The cheapest of the four healthcare plans, the catastrophic "bronze plan," might fit the bill technically. But those operating under the bronze plan must pay 40% of their medical expenses out-of-pocket.
An individual can pay up to $6,350 per year, while a family can reach $12,700 per year.
All things considered, Obamacare will cost more than a cellphone bill, unless you and your family are blessed enough to be perfectly healthy year after year.No matter the state of your health, Obamacare will undoubtedly affect your wallet. We've found a way to make money from the shift in our nation's healthcare process. You can get the details here.
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