Despite the many attempts by the Republicans to thwart Obamacare (the Affordable Care Act) that have resulted in higher health care costs, the proliferation of substandard health insurance plans, and a rise in the number of medically uninsured, a glimmer of good news has surfaced in Arizona just weeks prior to the opening of the Healthcare.gov open market enrollment period (November 1 to December 15).
Stephanie Innes from AZ Central has reported that the number of health insurance providers across Arizona offering plans on healthcare.gov is rising.
Maricopa County, which only one had marketplace option in 2018, will now offer five. Pima County will have three options to choose from. Five other counties will have two.
Health care provider Blue Cross and Blue Shield will now offer health care plans in all of Arizona’s counties. Ambetter, another health insurance provider, will offer plans in Gila, Graham, Greenlee, Pinal, and Santa Cruz counties, as well as Maricopa and Pima in 2020.
Why this expansion in the counties and among health care providers. The money of course as the insurance companies and brokers see thousands of potential clients that lack health insurance who do not qualify for Medicaid or KidsCare.
Ms. Innes also reported that health insurance costs on the marketplace should be consistent with last year. Qualifying families can receive federal subsidies if they make less than 400 percent of the national poverty level. Individuals and families can still choose from bronze, silver, and gold plans. People can also contact “Cover Arizona toll-free at 800-377-3536 or by going to www.coveraz.org” for free counseling and enrollment assistance.
Some individuals and families who earn too much money may face higher costs in the plans they choose if they decide to not opt for an “association” plan that does not offer the coverage the marketplace plans do.
This evolution of the healthcare marketplace is great news for the people of Arizona.
Many wonder like members of the Arizona Democratic Party, why Republicans like Senator Martha McSally and Republican Representatives Debbie Lesko, Andy Biggs, Paul Gosar, and David Schweikert, with the evidence clearly available that the Affordable Care Act, even despite all the members of their party have done to sabotage it, is enduring and thriving, still persist in supporting a lawsuit that, if ultimately successful at the United States Supreme Court, would take away health insurance overnight from 400,000 Arizonans who are now enrolled in Medicaid. It would also add to the numbers of the uninsured on the healthcare.gov marketplaces as federal subsidy assistance would evaporate.
Obamacare (the Affordable Care Act)works. The Arizona Marketplaces prove it.
Does it need improvements?
Of course, it does. Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and other forms of progressive legislation were modified as time and conditions showed gaps in the original legislation.
Obamacare, especially with the Republican sabotage efforts, is no exception.
Reform and build on it. Do not hurt the people by getting rid of it and leaving them to fend for themselves. It is the right course to take.