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Affordable Care Act-I don't get it
Aug 20, 2012

Hi, I am completely confused on the benefit the affordable care act will have for anyone. From the articles that I am reading the states will be able to decide who receives medicaid and who doesn't and the income rates of some states are already ridiculously low. I am confused as to why anyone thinks affordable care will benefit everyone if the states can refuse it anyway. I also don't understand if there will continue to be private insurance through work. thank you,jj

Response from Mr. Chambers

That's a big question and I don't blame you for being confused. Given all the partisanship going on you are hearing all kinds of pros and cons about ACA (Affordable Care Act) as it is in the center of campaigning.

Medicaid - ACA offers each state the ability to expand their eligibility requirements for Medicaid, primarily allowing people who are under age 65 and aren't single parents to enroll even if they aren't disabled. The federal government would pay 95% of the bill for those newly eligible people. After the Supreme Court finished their review, they said that if a state didn't want to expand its Medicaid to the new level, they could continue their present level of Medicaid, with the federal government continuing to pay their current share.

I know of no plans for states to actually shrink Medicaid from its present level, but given the budget problems of many states and the vitriol coming from some state governors and legislatures, it's conceivable that some may try. Remember, however, current Medicaid has minimum requirements that states MUST continue to match.

Regarding employers, they may be some smaller employers dropping their group coverage, but those individuals will be able to buy health insurance on the open market regardless of their pre-existing conditions. I seriously doubt that larger employers will drop their group coverage.

A bigger issue about employer provided health insurance is the current discussion about tax reform that may include dropping the benefit that allows employers to pay for health insurance without the employees have to consider that taxable income.

However, this is a totally new thing in this country so virtually any prediction is, at best, an educated guess.

We're all in this together so good luck to all of us, Jacques



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