No Changes to Affordable Care Act in Shutdown Settlement
President should work with Congress to address concerns
(Washington, DC) – Last night Congress passed, and the President signed into law, legislation to reopen the federal government and authorize billions in new federal debt. Despite the many problems currently being encountered with the rollout of the Affordable Care Act (also called the ACA or Obamacare), the legislation does not make changes to the health care law – meaning critical deficiencies of the law still remain to be addressed for the good of the American people.
News reports say that the rollout has so far been "a complete disaster," that it will hurt retirees, and that there are several states which, as of recently, had no enrollees at all. And many who have been able to begin the enrollment process are finding insurance to be far more costly than expected.
Despite these problems, the President has insisted that the personal mandate requiring individuals to purchase insurance go into effect as scheduled. Those who do not comply with the provision face a minimum penalty of $95 in the first year, with fines rising over time. This ACA regulation is extremely controversial. One poll found that 77 percent believe it should be repealed or delayed – as the House of Representatives voted to do. Gallup reports that 43 percent of uninsured Americans are not aware of the requirement at all.
Daniel Garza, Executive Director of The LIBRE Initiative released the following statement:
"While some Members sought to delay full implementation of the Affordable Care Act, or to lift the mandate that requires individuals to buy insurance, the penalty will go into effect without consideration to these critical changes. There will be no relief for those who find it impossible to comply with a law that was rushed into place before it was ready.
Millions of Americans will be unable to afford insurance or even to navigate the application process due to a faulty and costly website. In addition, they will face a fine which the White House insisted go forward without regard to economic struggle of millions of Americans. This is simply unfair. Being unable to afford policies at high prices should not trigger a penalty."