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January 8, 2014

PPCA — 6 Million registrants and counting

DUNCAN — While the rollout of the Patient Protection and Affordable Car Act had its problems with both the framing of the ACT, and ongoing daily, weekly opposition to it by a segment of our elected officials and citizens, it is an established law. As with Massachusetts’ healthcare law, the ACA is gaining wider participation each day.

An example of this was the participation at the healthcare.gov web site from a few thousand on October 1, 2013 to 2 plus Million on Monday, December 23, 2013.

6 Million Citizens have obtained healthcare coverage through state or federal insurance marketplaces (exchanges) and Medicaid Expansion since the beginning of sign-ups on October 1, 2013. Of this number, 2.1 Million have obtained private health insurance through the marketplaces while 3.9 plus Million have been found eligible for Medicaid. If

Republican Governors and Legislators in half of the United States had expanded their Medicaid programs, that 3.9 Million figure would now total 8.7 Million insured Americans.

The 4.8 plus Million people who cannot afford insurance - or fall below the criteria for federal assistance with policy premiums - have been left without insurance in their respective states and can now only correct that situation through the electoral process. In Oklahoma, the number of those people left without insurance has been estimated to be 1.3 Million, All but a small fraction of this 1.3 Million are being denied health coverage because of Oklahoma’s Gubernatorial and Legislative refusals to accept federal funds allocated to support the expansion of Oklahoma’s Medicaid program, currently called “Sooner Care.”

As reported by the Center for American Progress, the number of people who have had their health insurance policy cancelled because they were sub-standard - and are not authorized subsidized coverage via the insurance marketplace or Medicaid - is  

10 THOUSAND,

a considerable difference from the 5 Million rumored numbers being voiced and bemoaned by the Republicans and conservative talk show hosts. It is a disappointment that every individual cannot obtain healthcare coverage in a country as rich as is the United States and with its history of helping those in need.

Another part of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act which is seemingly causing concerns is the overblown “flap” about doctors removing patients from their clientele. This is the same one that we heard during the start-up of Medicare. Today, with 95 percent of the population either carrying health insurance or on Medicaid (Sooner Care in Oklahoma), the doctors who follow this dogma will eventually reconsider their decisions or realize only about 5 percent of the population from whom to draw their incomes. Historically, they have always reconsidered. And every Oklahoma hospital would be grateful if this state would expand its current Medicaid program!

Socially, there is a definite “up-side” to our PPACA. With the advent of the individual aspect of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, people are no longer held hostage to a job because they need the security of a company’s health insurance provision. To scrap the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act at this late date, with no all-encompassing plan for healthcare, will take away coverage for millions of Americans who now are enrolled in health insurance plans which include those individuals with pre-existing conditions, women, children and seniors.

Stephens County Democrats will hold their first 2014 meeting Thursday, January 16. It will be held in the “Interurban Restaurant,” 1800 N. Country Club Rd., Duncan, OK. A no-host dinner starts at 5:30 PM with the business meeting following at 6:30 PM. Discussion to open and staff the office will be on the agenda. A surprise Featured Speaker will be present. Anticipate lively information and discussion to round out the evening!

Be sure to mark your calendar and attend this important meeting. Remember, “Participation is the key to Success!”

Kenneth Wells, 580-444-2563

twinnwells@gmail.com

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