Republican lawmakers are trying hard to block the implementation of the Affordable Care Act popularly known as ObamaCare, which aims to provide affordable coverage for millions of Americans without health insurance. The law also aims to provide more comprehensive coverage and lower costs eventually.
House Republicans have a new strategy to block Obama Care—a compromise to raise the debt ceiling, but they are pushing for a vote to delay the health care law this weekend. Last week, the Republicans forwarded a bill to the Senate seeking to defund Obama Care.
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On Thursday, House Speaker John Boehner maintained the position of his fellow Republicans. He said, “The American People don’t want the President’s health care bill.”
President Obama promoting ObamaCare
On the other hand, President Barack Obama is aggressively promoting ObamaCare prior to the implementation of a major provision of the bill on Tuesday, October 1, wherein government-regulated insurance exchanges are set to open.
In his speech at Maryland Community College, President Obama condemned “misinformation” surrounding the law, but he pointed out that Republicans failed in every step they take to stop it. “The closer we got to this date, the more irresponsible folks opposed to this law have become,” according to the President.
What you need to know about Obama Care
Under ObamaCare, most Americans should have health insurance by March 31, 2014. Government regulated insurance “exchanges” will be open for people who do not have health insurance from their employers. Through the “exchanges” people can purchase health insurance from competing insurance companies.
The exchanges will categorize the plans by tiers such as platinum, gold, silver, and bronze. The average cost for a silver plan is around $328 per month. The government will provide a subsidy for those whose incomes are 400% below the poverty level ($94,200 for a family of four) and ($45,960 for an individual).
Insurers cannot penalize people with underlying health conditions. They might be able to save money under the Obama Care if they are currently paying more because of their medical condition. The choice of doctors and hospitals maybe limited compared with their current insurance plans.
Americans who will not be able to buy insurance by March 31, 2014 could face a penalty of more than $95 per adult or 1% of household income in their 2014 tax bill. The penalty will climb to as much as $695 or 2.5% of income by 2016. People paying more than 8% of their income for health insurance and poor adults living in states not expanding Medicaid are exempted.
The health care law does not affect Medicare. Enrollment at government-regulated exchanges starts on October 1, and coverage starts by January 1, 2014.
The compromise: raising debt ceiling, delaying ObamaCare
This week, the House Republicans will propose a bill that would raise the federal government’s debt ceiling, but it contains a provision that would delay implementation of ObamaCare for one year. The bill will also include a provision for future tax reform, and the approval of the Keystone pipeline. The Democrats strongly oppose any budget bill that would defund the health care law.