DON’T Miss the Deadline For Signing Up . . .

tt96.jpgThe clock is ticking (whether you hear it or see the hours slip by digitally), and the deadline is upon us.

I’m concerned about the health of my constituents and other New Jersey residents who do not have health care coverage. This unease increases daily as the deadline for enrollment in the Affordable Care Act (ACA) without paying a penalty ends Jan. 31, which is 10 days away.

The clock is ticking (whether you hear it or see the hours slip by digitally), and the deadline is upon us.

I’m concerned about the health of my constituents and other New Jersey residents who do not have health care coverage. This unease increases daily as the deadline for enrollment in the Affordable Care Act (ACA) without paying a penalty ends Jan. 31, which is 10 days away.

Please register if you do not have coverage. Just visit: www.heathcare.gov. The improved website makes it much easier for first-time or renewal participants to obtain coverage.

Politics often enters the discussion of health care. Enough time has passed, and now I believe the evidence is in. The ACA has demonstrated success at bringing health insurance to more Americans, despite a few bumps on the road. Want proof? About 18 million Americans now have medical coverage that they didn’t have before the ACA.  In New Jersey alone, we have about 700,000 residents who now have coverage that they previously lacked.

Some politicians relentlessly describe the ACA as “Obamacare” in a derisive tone, throwing it out as a pejorative term. Yet these detractors — almost across the board — fail to offer an alternative plan. They often cite the cost without acknowledging the realities.

And, the issue of costs directly affects all New Jersey residents. We have known for decades that the uninsured use the emergency room as their “doctor,” thus ensuring that all of us pick up these costs, and by the way these costs are a lot more. Yet the very “Obamacare” detractors who deride the program fail to acknowledge that research has shown that it has slowed the growth of medical costs and will continue to do so.

For those who don’t register (or renew) for the ACA this year, there is a possibility that you will have to pay a penalty when filing your 2016 taxes. And that average penalty could be as much as $969 per adult in a family, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation. Don’t penalize yourself or your family.

There is a broader question about the ACA, and a chat with a friend who takes a practical, rational and humanistic approach to the issue demonstrates it.

He said: “I don’t care what someone’s political affiliation is, or what their ethnic or religious persuasion is. I don’t want a single person to die or become ill because they don’t have shelter, enough food to eat or don’t see a doctor because they have no money. We can disagree on everything else, but what American would not agree to these fundamental rights?”

I think he has his heart and mind in the right place. And that issue of medical coverage is a simple registration process that might take a few minutes but has huge rewards for everyone (and their families).  Signing up for the ACA is an issue I constantly promote and which you just can’t ignore or put off for another day.

If you sense some urgency in my blog, your assumption is correct.  I’m concerned about you and every family in New Jersey that’s uninsured. You or a family member or someone you care about could become ill. What would you do? How long would you wait before you decide to go to the emergency room, a delay that could lead to more serious complications, even death, if you delayed?

Don’t delay. We often speak about individual freedom. This is one of the best possible ways to express yours. Register today. Visit www.heathgov.com. After you register or renew, you can go to sleep at night knowing that you’ve done the right thing for yourself, your family and your community. That’s my take, what’s yours?

 


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