Insurance markets open as political gridlock continues

U.S. Rep. Patrick Jefferson said the Republicans are “holding the government spending budget hostage.” Without a budget agreement, the government cannot continue to run.

Many people believe the House of Representatives, majority led by Republicans, will not approve any budget that funds the Affordable Care Act, familiarly called Obamacare, because the president pushed for its passage.

“The intent of Obamacare is to provide health care to more Americans,” said Steve Favors, Honors College professor and former GSU president. 

Americans were able to begin the process for Obamacare on Tuesday, but many problems arose. 

“It’s going to take time for a program this big to work effectively,” said Favors. 

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act makes health insurance available to million of Americans currently without. This law makes preventable care more accessible and affordable. 

Many Republicans believe Obamacare is wrong.  

“Republicans believe that the government should be limited to protecting only basic civil liberties,” said Rose Harris, head of the Political Science Department at GSU. “They do not think the government should be involved in spending money on social and medical needs.” 

“They intend on defunding Obamacare,” said Jefferson. “This would be a disservice to millions of people who need heath care.” 

There are 45 million Americans without health care. 

There are three types of people that ACA will impact; people without, people with and people who don’t get insurance.  

If you are an American without coverage, you can use the marketplace. 

“The marketplace is designed to allow Americans to ‘shop’ for a health care plan that meets their needs and income level,” said Harris.  

If you have coverage, you gain new protections.

College students will especially benefit from the new clause in Obamacare. Parents will be allowed to continue to carry young adults on their insurance policies until age 26. 

If you don’t have coverage, you make have to pay a fee. 

The government will require every American to carry at least the minimum level of health insurance or pay a tax penalty. Those who make less than $10,000 in income annually will not be penalized. These people are below the income tax filling threshold and are exempt from the requirement.  

People under the income minimum should apply for Medicare, Medicaid. Independent college students could weigh the option of their university’s health care insurance. 

Grambling’s Foster-Johnson Health Center is in the process of transitioning to a health system protected under Obamacare.

“It should meet the requirements of the Affordable Care Act,” said Patrice Outley

She explains that student’s health insurance fees are paid at the time of registration. This fall it cost $100, but she warns that the cost may fluctuate depending on the new system this spring.