By David Martin, President and CEO of VeinInnovations
What where those “four words” that could have repealed the Affordable Care Act? How many Georgians are breathing a sigh of relief over the law being upheld? How many Americans?
Last week saw the Supreme Court uphold the Affordable Care Act’s grant of tax credits to help people on individual insurance markets afford their health insurance. This impacts mostly people who don’t have insurance through work. Had the Supreme Court not upheld the law, some 500,000 Georgians who counted on the tax credits would be scrambling right now to figure out new insurance.
The whole reason the ACA was in court again was based on some messy language in the way the bill was written. In essence, all the drama was based on a technicality in the law that said people would receive subsidies through exchanges “established by the state.” Since Georgia was one of the 37 states that opted out of creating a state-run exchange, Georgians received their subsidies via the Federal government. So their subsidies hung in balance based on poorly chosen words that did not change the intent of the law, but did give folks who’ve tried to repeal the ACA one more shot at having the judicial branch shoot it down.
Whether you’re among the half-million Georgians (16 million or so Americans) breathing a sigh of relief or not, here are some answers to Frequently Asked Questions about the ACA.
Q: I have a pre-existing condition. How does that affect my getting insurance coverage?
A: It’s estimated that there are between 50 and 129 million Americans with a pre-existing condition. Before the ACA passed, insurance companies could deny anyone with a pre-existing condition like diabetes, pregnancy, or a history of cancer coverage. Now they cannot.
Q: I’m not insured, but I’m also not sick. Why should I spend money each month on health insurance?
A: If you think you don’t need health insurance, let me try to sway you with some sobering financial figures. Accidents, injuries and illness don’t discriminate. They happen to everyone and usually happen without warning. A sprained ankle or broken arm can cost thousands of dollars without insurance. Treating diabetes without insurance can cost thousands of dollars each month while a pregnancy could put you in major debt before you bring your bundle of joy home. Considering what costs you could face, the monthly premium is a bargain.
Q: Where can I get more information?
A: If you want to get a better understanding of the Affordable Care Act, here are some helpful links.
The Affordable Care Act Is Working (http://www.hhs.gov/healthcare/facts/factsheets/2014/10/affordable-care-act-is-working.html)
Is the Affordable Care Act Working?
Obamacare Facts and News