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Published: Mon, October 24, 2016
Economy | By Melissa Porter

Obama to urge young adults to sign up for health care

Obama to urge young adults to sign up for health care

President Barack Obama spoke to a crowd of mostly students at Miami Dade College Wolfson Campus on Thursday, where, in the face of progressive healthcare marketplace premium increases and diminished competition, he once again tried to make the case for the Affordable Care Act.

Who you pick for president and Congress on November 8 will matter a lot to the future of the Affordable (a'hem) Care Act.

Those corrections, he told an audience at Miami Dade College, would bring Obamacare much closer to reducing the number of uninsured Americans — a figure that now stands at about 29 million people. But he'll be attempting a hard sales job.

"It's hard to get people focused on the facts, and even reporters who cover this stuff, and they do a good job, they are trying to follow all the debate, but a lot of times they just report premium increases, and everybody thinks, wow, my insurance rates are going up - it must be Obama's fault", he said. Last month was the deadline for insurance companies to indicate whether or not they'll offer plans on the Obamacare exchanges, yet the Department of Health and Human Services has refused to release that information, leaving Missouri families unclear about what their options and rates will be next year.

Mr. Obama made several jabs at Republicans in his bid to persuade them to join with Democrats and approve changes to the law, saying he hoped they would "just work with the next president to smooth out the kinks...."

But he carefully sought to separate that criticism from the inflamed political rhetoric of the GOP, blasting the House for voting 60 times to repeal Obamacare without producing a replacement bill.

The administration says taxpayer-provided subsidies that were created to increase alongside premiums will soften most of the blow to people's wallets from higher premiums. About 85 percent of customers get financial help. Those who are satisfied with their current plan don't need to do anything; they'll be automatically renewed.

The law is slowing the growth of health insurance premiums for the majority of people with employer-sponsored health insurance, he said, noting that most consumers now get a better insurance plan for less money. Congressional budget analysts estimate there are about 9 million people nationwide with individual policies purchased outside the health care law. They're also reminding consumers that failure to have coverage will result in a $695 fine or 2.5 percent of their income (whatever is higher).

OBAMA: The more young and healthy people like you who do the smart thing and sign up, then the better it's going to work for everybody. He blamed Republicans, health insurers and citizens - everyone except himself and Obamacare's inherently unworkable structure - for rising health care costs under that program.

That's where Obama comes in.

Trump has described Obamacare as a disaster all along and Clinton has maintained she will build on the law.

The Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare if you're so inclined, has had its issues the past six years.

Kevin Brady, the head of the House's Ways and Means Committee, told Business Insider in a statement that Republicans would continue to reduce regulation on healthcare and criticized the speech from Obama.

Obama's mostly policy-dense speech gave a nod to the "legitimate concerns about how the law is working now".

Despite soaring premiums and departure of some major insurers from the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the Obama administration expects monthly average enrollment to program to jump to more than 11 million next year. Some Republican governors who refused to expand Medicaid may also be more willing to do so after the election - a change that would expand coverage for about 4 million people.

Eyeing the election, Obama touted the law's most popular provisions - such as new protections for young people or patients with pre-existing conditions - that he said are often overlooked.

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