Countdown to the Health Insurance Marketplace

Posted by AzBlueMeanie:

TwoThe editorial opinion in the Arizona Daily Star today is by Sarah Garrecht Gassen (not the editorial board), Obamacare is here, and that's a good thing:

It’s finally here. Beginning Tuesday uninsured Americans,
including about 1 million Arizonans, will be able to compare plans from
private insurance companies, figure out if they qualify for a subsidy to
help pay for coverage, and enroll in a plan that will take effect Jan.
1.

Yes, this is Obamacare.

And while several important
provisions already have kicked in, Oct. 1 marks the beginning of the
largest phase in the law that benefits Americans.

It’s a landmark
law, upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court, and while there will no doubt be
kinks to work out and improvements to be made, the Affordable Care Act
stands to improve the life and health of Americans.

Arizonans will
pay less than the national average for health insurance, according to
information from the federal Health and Human Services agency.

Arizona is one of 36 states that will participate in the federal health-care exchange instead of running its own marketplace.

It’s
a complicated law, yes. But so are sweeping programs like Medicare and
Social Security that we now consider bedrock parts of American life.

We
anticipate that as people become familiar with the ACA that
understanding will increase and reactionary opposition to “Obamacare”
will fade.

Polls show that Americans don’t have a favorable view of Obamacare, but that few say they understand it.

Here’s the short version:

If you have insurance through your employer, and you’re satisfied with it, you don’t have to do anything.

If you don’t have insurance and you have a low income, you may qualify for Medicaid.

If you don’t, you will likely qualify for subsidies to buy health insurance — these are the plans that roll out on Tuesday.

You are not buying insurance from the government, because the plans are from private insurance companies.

This isn’t “government health care.”

If
you do have insurance through your employer, and your employer pitches
in to cover the cost of premiums, as many do, then you can buy a
different policy through the health care exchange but you cannot receive
a subsidy to help cover the cost.

The Star has a special section titled “Health Care Law and You” in [Sunday’s] paper.

The
stories explain the details of how the ACA will work in Arizona, where
to go for help with figuring out which plan works best for you, and what
penalties will kick in for those who don’t get health insurance.

Health insurance is a funny thing — by its nature people often don’t understand its benefits or limitations until they need it.

For
example, most Americans won’t have reason to understand the importance
of the ACA provision that eliminated the lifetime dollar limit on
benefits, because that only becomes an individual issue in the face of a
serious illness or injury.

Similarly, the prohibition on
insurance companies canceling your policy if you become seriously, and
expensively, ill — as was common practice and legal before Obamacare —
only matters if you are the person dropped in the middle of cancer
treatment.

And if you think you don’t need health insurance
because you’re healthy, think again because you never know when illness
or injury will strike.

Appreciate your good fortune and know that,
thanks to Obamacare, when you do become ill or have an injury,
insurance companies can no longer charge you more or deny you a policy
because you have a pre-existing medical condition. Again, this is one of
those benefits many people don’t notice but is crucial nonetheless.

As
people begin to enroll in the health plans, there will no doubt be
glitches and problems. It’s bound to happen with such a large system
ramping up.

The upside is that there is time before the plans
become effective and you can enroll into March. As long as you have
signed up for a plan by Dec. 15, your plan will begin Jan. 1.

Many have spent much time, energy and money trying to fight Obamacare.

But it’s here.

The true measure will be in how it works on the ground — that’s what counts.

The Star's special section titled “Health Care Law and You” is surprisingly well done, with one glaring exception. Some Star editor felt compelled to include an unnecessary interview of Christina Corrieri from the the "Kochtopus" Death Star, the Goldwater Institute, which is suing the state of Arizona to overturn Gov. Jan Brewer's Medicaid (AHCCCS) restoration/expansion plan and to deny hundreds of thousands of low-income Arizonans access to health care.

How many times do I have to explain that propaganda is all that this Evil Empire operation does? It is not accurate, informative, or educational. Just stop! If you think the Koch brothers give a rats ass whether Arizonans have access to affordable health care, you are delusional. If you want to "defund" something, let's begin with defunding the "Kochtopus" Death Star by requiring full transparency and disclosure of the Goldwater Instititute's income and expenditures, and requiring its employees to register as lobbyists. Shine the dissinfecting light of sunshine on the "Kochtopus" cockroaches who operate in the dark.

One response to “Countdown to the Health Insurance Marketplace

  1. A note about the authorship of the editorial. I heard Sarah Garrecht Gassen talk about how editorials are conceived and written at the Star. She says the editorial board discusses the topics and decides what to write about and what perspective to take. Then she actually writes the editorial. She says she tries to convey the sense of the board’s decision accurately in what she writes, which sometimes leads her to write things she doesn’t entirely believe in.

    I’m reasonably sure Sarah Garrecht Gassen believes what she wrote in this very good, informational editorial. But based on what she said when I heard her talk, it represents the consensus view of the editorial board, not just her own.