Obamacare, Medicaid and dentists – how are they affecting your health and pocket book?

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The deadline for enrollment is Monday, March 31st and supporters of the healthcare law are stepping it into high gear to end open enrollment with as many participants as possible. That’s important to Democrats coming into mid-term elections where the federal healthcare law will be a cornerstone talking point for Republicans against the law.

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So far more than 6 million people have signed up for coverage under the law. That’s a number the Obama administration is proud of even though it’s a million less than their original estimates had been before the rocky October launch of Healthcare.gov that left many would-be applicants locked out of a glitch-plagued system.

Though the healthcare roll out has been vastly successful in Florida with nearly 450,000 people enrolling by the end of February, we are still one of 23 states that haven’t accepted federal funding to expand Medicaid. In Florida that means about 775,000 people who are left without coverage they would have other wise had. It also puts them in an unfortunate gap. People earning between 100 and 400% of the federal poverty level qualify for subsidies on the cost of private health insurance through the exchanges. But people earning below poverty don’t, they’re referred to Medicaid instead. But those nearly 1 million people don’t qualify for that either. What that ends up meaning is, someone making less than poverty would be forced to pay more for their insurance than an individual making, say, $45,000 a year.

We can talk about a number of things here – Medicaid expansion. The healthcare law in general, how Medicaid currently operates. We can talk about the argument, either for or against, that if we offer more accessible healthcare it will actually save people money by eliminating trips to the ER. Is Obamacare hurting our economy by strangling small businesses or is it creating healthcare jobs?

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