MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Stories of problems with the Affordable Care Act have dominated much of the headlines in recent days, though many of those stories are summarily debunked. But Thursday, Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz highlighted something different with the ACA, a success story.
“I was denied for 7 years,” breast cancer Carolyn Newman said about her past dealings with health insurance companies.
Newman said getting coverage with a pre-existing condition was nearly impossible. She is now guaranteed coverage under the ACA and said she’s saving more than $7,000 a year.
“I have been held hostage to the insurance companies,” Newman said. “Now, I have peace of mind.”
Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz said what many Democrats have been saying since the ACA was first proposed, “Health care is not a privilege, it is a right.”
Still, one month after the launch of healthcare.gov, problems remain for Americans trying to shop for individual coverage. Hundreds of South Floridians have come to the Borinquen Health Care Center to learn more about the ACA and how to sign up.
But with the healthcare.gov site working intermittently at best, the technical glitches are fueling anger towards the government. Senator Marco Rubio said that since the problems have been widespread, the individual mandate should be delayed. Insurers have warned against a move like that saying prices could jump in such a situation.
“The only thing it says is that you cannot enforce the individual mandate, that you cannot tell people next year that we will find you, that the IRS will impose a fine on you,” Rubio said. “You will not be able to do that until the website is fully working.”
In addition, Republicans have seized on President Barack Obama’s comments from 2010 that said if you like your old insurance you can keep it. The president’s incomplete statement neglected to say that you could keep the policies if they met the ACA’s 10 minimum standards.
The problem for many policies is they didn’t meet those minimum standards and the insurance companies have phased out the policies and are informing thousands of Floridians that their individual coverage is ending.
Congresswoman Wasserman Schultz said the problems have been grossly exaggerated.
“In addition, many of these policies were sold after the Affordable Care Act became law and the insurance companies knew they were selling policies to people that were below the minimum standard,” Wasserman Schultz told CBS4’s Gaby Fleischman.
If you’re in South Florida and looking for help in navigating and learning more about the ACA, click here.