Despite all the snafus and glitches, the Affordable Care Act is now, thankfully, taking full effect. As the folks at Think Progress report this morning:
“On Wednesday, nearly four years after President Obama signed the Affordable Care Act, the major provisions of the health law that serve to expand coverage to millions of Americans officially took effect. Insurers are no longer allowed to discriminate against people with pre-existing conditions, or charge sick Americans higher prices than their healthier counterparts. And now, the Americans who have enrolled in new plans under Obamacare — either by picking a private plan on the state-level marketplaces, or by qualifying for Medicaid in the states that agreed to expand the program — may start using that coverage.
According to the Department of Health and Human Services, about six million people signed up for Obamacare’s coverage expansion so far. It’s not yet clear exactly how many of those people gained new insurance on January 1; some of them may not have paid their first premium yet, and ongoing technical problems with the state marketplaces may delay some people’s coverage from kicking in immediately.
Regardless of the official enrollment numbers, however, New Years Eve marked an important milestone for the health insurance industry. “It’s the last day a cancer patient can be told by their insurance company that cancer treatments aren’t covered and it’s the last day people can face limits on their coverage in the future,” White House adviser Phil Schiliro told MSNBC on Tuesday. “That’s just enormous.”
And some of people who woke up to new health insurance options on Wednesday aren’t wasting any time using their new plans….
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