Right now, as most of you sleep the night away, several of our Honorable Senators are having a slumber party attempting to defund ObamaCare, aka The Affordable Health Care Act. This is all symbolic I suppose, to accomplish what ends, I can’t understand…Regardless, the fat lady will sing tomorrow when the debate is closed and the voting begins. (the filibuster is fake because this pro-longed talking and discourse on the Senate floor will not actually delay the vote)
How did we get here? Just last week I watched a small group of our honorable representatives coo and yell in excitement over their “victory” last week to force a government shut down by attaching an ultimatum to defund ObamaCare to the budget, the federal budget that really affects my check! I’m one of thousands of federal government workers that could be affected by this sideshow.
The Supreme Court has spoken on The Affordable Health Care Act, noting in its 2012 opinion that the mandate to purchase health insurance was NOT unconstitutional. The penalty for failing to do so was interpreted by our Honorable Justices as a tax, and well the last time I checked taxes are pretty much legal.
Here are some important things to know—in anticipation of this defunding measure failing to be approved by the senate ( and messing with my check):
Oct 1, 2013: The Health Insurance Exchanges open and the option to purchase insurance in your state begins.
Dec 15, 2013: Deadline to chose a plan and sign up.
Jan 1, 2014: You should have signed up for a plan so that your new coverage begins to be active on this day.
As we know many states have been resistant in implementing the Health Insurance exchanges, and information has not been getting out to people who need it due to the politically charged law. That is where the navigators come in. The ACA has allotted over $65 Million to organizations to help people to enroll and “navigate” through their options. The exchange in Alabama will be operated by the federal government, as Alabama law makers did not take the option to run the exchange at the state level. Details are scarce but three major companies Blue Cross Blue Shield, United and Humana have applied to offer plans.
Who are the Alabama “navigators”? Ascension Health, Birmingham-based AIDS Alabama Inc., Samford University, Catholic Social Services –Archdiocese of Mobile and the Demopolis-based Tombigbee Healthcare Authority. View the complete list
Can you believe this side show is still going on? *time currently 2:27 am.
Time for me to sign off, but to close, and in case you need a refresher here are some of the key provisions of the Affordable Health Care Act (ACA) aka ObamaCare:
*Eliminates the “Donut hole” coverage gap for Medicare Part D prescription drug plans by 2020
*Prohibits Health Insurance plans from denying coverage based on pre-existing health conditions. Did you know that a prior pregnancy has been considered a pre-existing condition by some health plans?
*Allows children to be covered under their parents’ insurance until age 26
*Guaranteed free or reduced fee for preventative health screenings and benefits to include: Sexually Transmitted Disease (STD) screenings, smoking cessation, birth control, women’s exam (OB-GYN) , breast feeding supplies, depression screenings, blood pressure screenings
*Expands Medicaid eligibility, in states that chose to do so, by increasing the income requirements for Medicaid so that some who are struggling but not quite “poor” enough for Medicaid are now eligible for Medicaid
These are just some of the benefits. It’s amazing that there is such a dynamic and sensational effort to derail and defund the ACA—Money talks. Awaiting with baited breath what’s next to unfold in the ACA saga.
And the fake filibuster continues….
Disclaimer: This blog is Commentary Only and nothing here is to be interpreted as legal advice, solicitation, or any claim that the quality of legal services offered by The Keli R. Edwards Law Office is greater than the quality of legal services performed by other lawyers. I welcome your feedback and comments!