NAACP-Supported Affordable Care Act Implementation Slated for January 1, 2014


On January 1, 2014, many aspects of the NAACP-supported 2010 Affordable Care Act (also known as “health care reform,” or “Obamacare”) are set to take effect.  Specifically, as on January 1, 2014:

  • Insurers cannot deny coverage to anyone, regardless of pre-existing conditions. And they cannot charge you more because of your gender or more than they charge a healthy person your age. That means you can buy health insurance even if you are seriously ill;
  • A minimum level of coverage known as essential benefits must be part of all plans;
  • Health plans must let young adults remain as dependents on their parent's policy until they turn 26, regardless of whether they live at home, attend school, are married, or work;
  • As of January 1, 2014, Americans who can afford coverage will be required to purchase health insurance or pay a tax penalty;
  • States that choose to can expand their Medicaid programs to legal residents under age 65 earning less than $15,302 for an individual and $31,155 for a family of four.
  • As a result of these changes,
  • More than 3 million young people under age 26 have gotten health coverage through their parents’ plans thanks to the new coverage options, including more than 500,000 young African Americans.
  • About 2.9 million African Americans will be eligible for financial assistance to help pay for the health plans they choose through their state’s Health Insurance Marketplaces;
  • If every state expanded Medicaid, more than 2.8 million African Americans could get free or low-cost health care.

Sadly, there are extremist Members of Congress – both the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate – who remain opposed to the Affordable Care Act and continue to try to derail full implementation.  As of August, 2013, the U.S. House of Representatives has held 40 votes to repeal or de-fund or otherwise demonstrably weaken the Affordable Care Act.  In the U.S. Senate, there are extremists who are threatening to hold up all funding bills for the U.S. Government, effectively shutting the government down as of October 1, 2013, so that key provisions of the Affordable Care Act cannot be implemented on January 1, 2014.

The NAACP strongly supports full implementation of the Affordable Care Act and encourages every state, and every American, to take full advantage of its benefits.  The NAACP further encourages politicians to stop wasting time, energy, and resources on fruitless efforts to defeat the much-needed and meritorious provisions of the Affordable Care Act and focus their attention instead on many of the very real problems facing our Nation today.

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