OP-ED: Don’t Delay, Sign-up for Affordable Healthcare Today

OP-ED: Don’t Delay, Sign-up for Affordable Healthcare Today

By Rep. James E. Clyburn (D-S.C., Chairman, Democratic Faith Working Group)

The deadline to enroll or modify healthcare coverage under the Affordable Care Act is December 15. So, time is running out. Despite what you may have heard, the Affordable Care Act is still the law of the land, and everyone must have health insurance or pay a penalty. Go to www.healthcare.gov to find a plan that works for you. Don’t delay, enroll today.

Congress enacted the Affordable Care Act (ACA) to ensure all Americans have access to affordable quality healthcare, which ought to be a basic human right. Since becoming law, the ACA has provided health insurance for more than 20 million people who did not have it before its passage.

When Congress was considering the Affordable Care Act, I spoke on the House floor and called the legislation the “Civil Rights Act of the 21st Century.” I gave it that moniker, because the ACA outlaws discrimination against sick people and their families. It outlaws discrimination against women, closes the Medicare “donut hole” and allows adults up to age 26 to stay on their parents’ policies. I strongly believe that access to affordable, high-quality healthcare should be a right for all, not a privilege solely for the wealthy and well-connected.

Despite the current administration’s ongoing attempts to undermine the law, sign-ups for 2018 have outpaced most expert predictions. To date, more than 2.5 million Americans have already chosen plans. This is a great showing and proves Americans want affordable health care. Discounts and subsidies are still in place and may be better than last year. In fact, 80 percent of healthcare.gov enrollees will be able to purchase a plan for $75 or less per month.

As the Chairman of the Democratic Faith Working Group in the U.S. House of Representatives, I have been working with faith groups from across the country to spread the word and articulate the good work about the ACA. This outreach has engaged the faith community in promoting sign-ups during this open rnrollment period through our “Souls 2 Enroll” outreach effort and other engagement activities. We need to build on this record of success in the remaining days of Open Enrollment.

Time is running out for you to enroll in the Affordable Care Act. If you have questions or need help, there are many people willing to assist you. Go to the website, www.healthcare.gov or you may be able to find in-person help in your area at https://localhelp.healthcare.gov/#/ to shop for plans and sign up. You can also call the marketplace call center at 1-800-318-2596. Don’t be left without health insurance; get covered today.

U.S. House Assistant Democratic Leader James E. Clyburn represents South Carolina’s 6th congressional district. In Congress, he serves as the Chair of the Democratic Faith Working Group. Follow him on Twitter at @Clyburn.

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