Tuesday, October 1, 2013 at 5:01 PM
While the federal government is shutdown, the Affordable Care Act – arguably the core issue behind the shutdown – is alive and rolling out today. Earlier today, 90.3's call-in show, The Sound of Ideas devoted an hour to the rollout and how the system works. Ideastream’s Brian Bull has more.
The first phase is signing up for insurance exchanges, where people can explore their options and choose a carrier. The federal government says there may be glitches here and there, but largely the system is up and ready to sign people on.
The individual mandate requiring that everyone be insured - even those who think they don’t need it - is a cornerstone of the system.
On the Sound of Ideas, guest Paul Nachtwey of insurance brokerage firm Todd Associates – said this may, in the end, handicap the law.
“There’s some sort of reliance on maybe irrational behavior, healthy people buying stuff they don’t necessarily need, paying more for something that they don’t necessarily…need,” said Nachtwey. “Our anticipation is that we’d see less of that enrollment than would be required to make this thing actually work.”
But another guest, Cathy Levine, disagreed. She’s with the Universal Health Care Action Network of Ohio. She said there was a strong case for signing up, especially the young and healthy.
“Okay, let’s say you’re playing basketball and your knee goes out,” she begins. “And you need it get it scoped. Do you know how much daddy’s arthroscopic cost, when he had his knee fixed? That was an outpatient visit that was $19,000 before the insurance company negotiated. But you won’t have an insurance company to negotiate a lower price. Do you really want to have that risk over your head?”
Some Republicans in Congress tried to strip out or delay the individual mandate, to no avail.
Despite the shutdown, Obamacare is funded, and eligible citizens can sign up for four different levels of coverage.
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