LETTER: Shaking Off the Obamacare Boogeymen 

Don't be misled by Dale Brumfield's doomsday column about the Affordable Care Act, known as Obamacare. Brumfield asserts that economic necessity, cost, will keep insurance coverage out of reach of thousands in the minimum-wage work force. What he fails to mention is that minimum-wage employees — and tens of thousands of young people without employer-based coverage — can obtain subsidies at Healthcare.gov for coverage that begins in January. These tax breaks will act as gift cards and significantly reduce monthly insurance premiums the moment the coverage kicks in.

What Obamacare reins in — through its mandate — are young people, often men, who can afford health insurance, but don't buy it because they see themselves as invincible. When these uninsured young people lose jobs, get into car accidents or develop cancers targeting young people, such as leukemia, many become a burden on taxpayers after exhausting their own resources and ending up in expensive emergency rooms.

And Brumfield doesn't mention that women, half the population, will see insurance costs go down under Obamacare. The Huffington Post reported in July that the National Women's Law Center found "that 92 percent of the best-selling insurance plans charged 40-year-old women more than 40-year old men for coverage, even for plans that did not cover maternity services."

Anatomy was destiny, because insurance companies viewed women as having pre-existing conditions simply because they were female, Also, women often lacked coverage for contraception and maternity care. Starting in January, Obamacare does not allow insurance companies to charge women more for insurance. All new plans must cover maternity. And contraception, because of Obamacare, is today considered preventive and requires no copayment.

Consumers, please stop listening to all the Obamacare boogeymen out there. If you do not have employer-based coverage and want to protect yourself or loved ones from financial ruin in a medical crisis, go to Healthcare.gov and see if you qualify for tax subsidies that will lower your premiums.

Susan Ahern
Midlothian

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