Lawmakers discuss controversial medical plan
MIAMI (WSVN) -- The secretary of Health and Human Services was in South Florida to lay out the details on the controversial medical plan that is set to go into effect in two weeks.
Health care in the United States is taking on a new shape in 2014. The brunt of the Affordable Care Act goes into effect from coast to coast on Oct. 1.
Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius was at Miami-Dade College on Tuesday to answer questions and concerns about the government healthcare law that will be going in to effect. "No one should be priced out of filling a prescription or told they can't get preventative care that could save their lives," said Sebelius.
The act was signed into law by President Barack Obama in 2010. The Republican party fired off criticism claiming healthcare costs will take a big hike north. Sebelius says, "In the three-and-a-half years that the health bill has been passed, we have the lowest healthcare cost increases really in the history of this country."
Florida Republican Senator Marco Rubio said the negative impact from the Affordable Care act is already hitting hard-working Americans. "In fact, this year alone, the majority of jobs created in 2013 are part-time jobs. That is not a coincidence," said Rubio.
Republicans are arguing that companies big and small are cutting full-time employees down to part-time to save big money on health care costs.
As the debate in Washington D.C. plays out, here's what you need to know:
- Open enrollment starts Oct. 1 through March 31, 2014. It is also the window when the uninsured or those who want to opt out of their company insurance can register.
- Insurance bought by mid-December takes effect Jan. 1 and coverage purchased by mid-March is good to go April 1.
- Under the law, the requirement states most Americans must have insurance by Jan 1, 2014 or face a fee.
Rubio said that's one part of the problem forcing Americans to sign up in the first place. "Next year, every American will have to buy health insurance or owe the IRS a fine. I think that's wrong," said Rubio. "They are selectively deciding which parts of the law to apply and what parts of the law not to apply."
To find out about coverage options, each state has its own online marketplace. For one-on-one help, Florida's site is linked to www.healthcare.gov with a version in English and Spanish.
"There is also a toll free call-in number with people to give information that's available 24 hours a day, seven days a week with translators, up to 150 translators," said Sebelius.
For more information on the Affordable Healthcare Act and on how to register for the government-funded health care, click here: www.healthcare.gov.
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