With Obamacare on chopping block, people still encouraged to sign up by deadline

FILE - In this Oct. 6, 2015 file photo, the HealthCare.gov website, where people can buy health insurance, is displayed on a laptop screen in Washington. A new report is confirming that fewer people than expected are taking advantage of subsidies to purchase health insurance under the Affordable Care Act. The Congressional Budget Office study, based on updated enrollment figures up through last month, says that 11 million people are likely to purchase subsidized policies under the health care law, down about 4 million from estimates issued early last year. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File)

As the January 31st deadline looms to sign up for the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare as it’s know by republican critics) there are some concerns among those who have been relying on the insurance coverage. “We know that changes are coming and until we are told to do something differently, we will continue to comply with the law and do as we’ve always done,” says Melissa Camp from GAInsure. “Most people need health insurance irregardless of what the law says,” she told us.

Camp told us that GAInsure is a statewide organization that assists many who need ACA coverage. She says people are still encouraged to sign up by the end of January. “We are trying to get as many people help as we possibly can
while the marketplace is open and available to them .”

I’s estimated about 600 thousand people in georgia have this coverage and that most of them get a monthly subsidy to pay for the insurance. The republican Congress is already taking steps to defund the ACA. I asked Camp what happens to people if the subsidies end in a few months “That would create a problem for many many people because I think there’s something in the 90 percent range of people (in Georgia) with ACA who do get help paying for it,” she said.

Hundreds of people in Chatham County have the ACA insurance. I talked to 1st District Congressman Buddy Cater about what happens next. “Well, certainly they need to go ahead and move forward and obtain health insurance just like they have in the past,” Cater said. And you know, the president has made it clear and we in Congress, in the republican majority have made it clear – we’re not going to pull the rug out from underneath anyone. So people need to go ahead and obtain insurance whether it’s through the exchange, Obamacare or another way.”

I asked Carter if it is fair to talk about repeal before replacement and scare people who think they will end up without needed coverage. “Well, it’s fair because Obamacare is collapsing under its own weight,” he told me.

Carter says the ACA is driving up costs and that leaders have “got to do something.” He believes they must repeal the law but says people will not be left out of the equation in terms of a replacement bill. However, he could not say when such a bill will be passed.

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