Well, it’s finally happened!

The bickering between Republicans and Democrats has officially caused a shutdown of the federal government. And the purpose- to defund and essentially deactivate “Obamacare”.

But Will it?

According to the President of the American Action Forum and former director of the Congressional Budget Office, Doug Holtz-Eakin:

“A shutdown per se doesn’t stop the Affordable Care Act  because the reform law is largely funded by mandatory spending, which won’t be affected by this government shutdown, rather than annual appropriations.  And money for the parts of the law financed through annual appropriations has already been spent, making it unaffected by the potential shutdown.”

Healthcare Exchanges 

Today is the red letter day when the healthcare exchanges open for business.  But maybe the government should have taken a marketing lesson from Apple when each of the new iPhones were made available!

According to NPR, 80 million Americans don’t know about the exchanges and the healthcare law yet.  Even worse, a new poll done by the Kaiser Family Foundation finds that 64% of the U.S. population and three quarters of the uninsured don’t even know that the new online marketplaces are open for enrollment today.  The poll also reveals that even in the face of outreach efforts, the number of people buy beclomethasone inhaler aware of the “doughnut Hole closing on Medicare prescriptions drugs has actually declined since the law passed in 2010.

Results show that more than half of Americans and 67% of the uninsured in the public admit that they have no idea about how the law will affect their families.  Most voiced concerned about cost issues and how it will actually improve the healthcare system over the one that had currently been in place.

The most often asked questions were:

  • “How am I supposed to afford this financially?”
  • “I am having a problem with medication costs. How would this new law help?”
  • “Will the medical insurance be free or will I have to pay?”
  • “Is it going to lower the cost for the average person in the long run?”
  • “How is it going to be sustainable?”
  • “Who is paying for the health care program?”
  • “How is the cost of insurance going to be regulated so that I would only pay what I could afford?”
  • “Why is my company stating that our insurance rate will go up?”

To read more about the poll and get results see: http://kff.org/health-reform/poll-finding/kaiser-health-tracking-poll-september-2013/

The thing is, despite a government shutdown, the exchange is open for enrollment…but will people enroll?

Will you be enrolling?  Share your thoughts.