Health-insurance exchanges are set to open today for people to buy plans under the new provisions of Obamacare. This is happening despite the government shutdown that will furlough up to 800,000 government employees. Yesterday Obama said, “The Affordable Care Act is moving forward. That funding is already in place. You can't shut it down.”
This is a key milestone for Obama’s signature law that aims to subsidize healthcare for millions of uninsured Americans. The marketplaces or exchanges allow consumers to select from a variety of health insurance packages with broad coverage or pay a fine to be uninsured. The average cost of insurance will be $328. The success of the ACA depends on people, especially those who are young and healthy, not simply paying the fine to forego having health insurance. Those in good health will pay a disproportionately higher price for insurance relative to the services they are expected to receive so that health care is more affordable for all consumers. In good conscience, I couldn’t advise anyone, regardless of how healthy they are, to go without health insurance.
Getting health insurance coverage for more of the population is truly a great benefit to society, which is the spirit of The Affordable Care Act. Theoretically, more people being insured will lead to more regular visits to the doctor. More visits to the doctor is expected to result in fewer incidents of major disease with expensive treatments and costly emergency trips to the hospital. Morality and benevolence aside, there is a very positive economic impact of having more people covered by health insurance. I’m not thrilled with some of the ways this essential objective is being reached, but I don’t have a better solution today, and quite frankly, I don’t think anybody else does either. Go out and shop for the best deal for you.