Like Congress, local residents divided on Affordable Care Act
10/07/2013 - The Exponent Telegram. By Darlene Taylor-Morgan.
Those who spoke to The Exponent Telegram about the Affordable Health Care Act, commonly referred to as Obamacare, seemed just as divided as Congress on the issue.
Beginning last Tuesday, those without health insurance could start comparing plans through a health insurance marketplace. They also can learn if they qualify for premium assistance in the form of tax credits, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Mike Owens of Salem said his family has their own employee provided insurance or he would be signing up.
“I believe it is one of the best things that’s happened in Washington, D.C., for years. Republicans want to make it look like it’s a bad thing,” Owens said. “And I also believe all citizens should unite and replace all the politicians to see change.”
Linda Rager of Grafton was not as convinced that it is a good thing.
“I can barely afford to pay my bills now and to have to pay for medical care — I can’t afford anything extra,” Rager said. “I live paycheck to paycheck. I think it’s sad.”
Sharon Tabone, also of Grafton, said she doesn’t have to deal with maneuvering the new system.
“I have military insurance and Medicare, so it won’t be necessary for me,” she said.
Todd Turner of Cumberland, Md., said most people don’t know enough about it to know if it will benefit them or even if they qualify.
“In the first two hours it was in effect, 6 million people went on the website to check it out,” he said.
Clarksburg resident Patty Butler said she has Public Employees Insurance Agency coverage, so it doesn’t impact her. But the federal government shutdown because lawmakers can’t agree on it has touched her family.
“My brother works for the National Security Agency and he’s not happy. It’s going to cost him more money. They just pushed him out of his office this week,” Butler said.
Dorothy Brown of Pensacola, Fla., said she has not signed up for the health care coverage and will not be doing so.
“We are members of a health share program. We send money in each month, and it is less than $400 a month per family,” Brown said.
Steven Reel of Clarksburg doesn’t think Obamacare is a good thing.
“Why should people have to buy insurance? You’re paying more for it. The Republicans don’t want it,” Reed said. “Now employers are cutting hours so they don’t have to provide insurance.”