As of October 1, the federal government is shut down. Driving the shutdown are some Republicans intent on repealing or delaying the Affordable Care Act. Come January roughly 66,000 Alaskans, some even with preexisting conditions, will be able to buy affordable health insurance on the private market for the first time ever.
That includes me. According to a broker, I’ll probably be paying about $500 a month for a plan with a $1200 deductible.
For me that’s a great deal. If not for the new health care law, I would be paying about $1500 a month for such insurance.
That’s a $1000 a month difference. That’s real money. That’s a mortgage. That’s money that can be used to support private Alaska businesses.
U.S. Rep. Don Young voted on Monday yet again to delay the program for a year. Senate hopeful Joe Miller would go further. He would repeal the whole thing. The other Republican hopeful, Lt. Gov. Mead Treadwell has indicated that he would do the same.
For decades, Young has been the beneficiary of the best health insurance available, which has been highly subsidized by the tax payers. He’s now on Medicare. However, in 2009, the plan most favored by members of Congress was Blue Cross Blue Shield, which covered a family for about $1,030 a month. Taxpayers paid $700 of that.
Young, and all the members of Congress, also have government-funded private doctors on the Hill available to them.
As a veteran of our armed services, Miller is eligible for tax funded healthcare.
As a state of Alaska official, Treadwell doesn’t have to pay anything for his insurance. The state health insurance plan is better than almost any plan available on the private market. And, it’s all funded by the citizens of Alaska.
Let me repeat that: As a state worker, Treadwell doesn’t have to pay any monthly premiums for a plan that’s better than nearly any plan normal Alaskans get or can buy themselves.
Funny how politicians always seem to know how to get theirs.
If the health care act is delayed and I can’t sign up for it, I’ll be spending roughly more than $12,000 than I would otherwise. And if only 10,000 Alaskans of comparable health, age and income sign up under ObamaCare, it will save us a collective $120 million.
That’s more than Alaska makes off of taxes from mining, cigarettes and alcohol combined.
The federal government shut down at midnight while the House continues to leverage the budget continuing resolution as a means of delaying ObamaCare. Federal workers all across the state will be affected. So will the elderly and the disabled. The stock market has already fallen as the result of instability. Most of Alaskans who have retirement accounts have at least some of it in the stock market. We’ve all lost money that we’ll probably never get back.
The health care law will not be delayed. Obama will not allow it.
So what’s happening is this: Some Republican politicians are playing partisan games with our money and our health.
I’m going to go to a broker tomorrow and sign up for health insurance through the exchanges, which will be available on January 1. For the first time, I’ll be able to buy affordable, private health insurance. I won’t be getting as good of a deal as Young, Treadwell or Miller.
But I won’t complain. I’m going to have better and more affordable health insurance. And I’ll pass on some of what I’m going to save to Alaska businesses.
Contact Amanda Coyne at firstname.lastname@example.org