Affordable Care Act

Pushing 60, and with a family history of colon cancer, my doctor browbeat me into undergoing a colonoscopy in late April. This occurred three years before the warranty expired on the last one. The procedure is not a big deal. The prep, however, is not a stroll in the park. In fact, there is only one location to which you will be strolling. Likely, you will walk briskly.

Airs Sunday, February 2 at 6 p.m. With the disastrous launch of the HealthCare.gov website, critics of the Affordable Care Act, or “Obamacare,” were given more fuel for the fire. Is this political hot potato's inevitability once again at stake? And is the medical community really on board with the law, or resisting (rewriting?) it from the sidelines?

Arguing for the resolution are: Dr. Scott Gottlieb, Practicing Physician & Former Deputy Commissioner of the FDA and Megan McArdle, Writer and Columnist for Bloomberg View.

Arguing against the resolution are: Jonathan Chait, Political Commentator and Columnist for New York Magazine and Dr. Douglas Kamerow, Family Physician & Former Assistant Surgeon General.

The federal health law's individual marketplaces are scheduled to start enrollment on October 1. Nearly all Americans will be required to have health insurance starting January 1, 2014, or else they will be liable for a tax penalty. There is considerable confusion about the law. People aren't sure if they qualify and they have no clear idea of how much insurance might cost.

This localized calculator produced in collaboration with the Kaiser Family Foundation allows users to plug in some of their financial and demographic info and find out if they qualify for an insurance exchange subsidy or Medicaid -- and how much they might have to pay.

Click on this post for the calculator.

PBS.org

Families USA, the Washington-based health care consumer advocacy group, says more than 353,000 Louisianans will be eligible for financial assistance to purchase premiums through the new health insurance marketplace under the Affordable Care Act. What’s more, according to executive director Ron Pollack, nearly 2 million Louisianans with pre-existing conditions won’t be denied coverage or charged higher premiums due to their health ailments.

Kate Archer Kent

Flanked by supporters, Louisiana District 3 Rep. Barbara Norton of Shreveport explained her motivations yesterday for filing a bill that would require the state to sign on to an expansion of the Medicaid program and participate in the Affordable Care Act. Estimates are that up to 400,000 more Louisianans could be eligible for Medicaid next year and thereafter if the state chose to expand the program, with the federal government picking up most of the tab. Gov. Bobby Jindal has criticized such a move, calling Medicaid an inefficient and poorly managed program.

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