THIS WEEK: Arguing over health care and enrolling in Obamacare

MOLINE, Illinois – Enrollment for 2020 health care coverage under the Affordable Care Act, known as ObamaCare, runs until December 15, 2019 in Iowa, Illinois, and across the nation.

Mateo Tiry-Ortiz is Community Health Center's Outreach and Enrollment Coordinator in charge of the group's Affordable Care Act enrollment program.

"Let's be honest, health insurance is not the most fun conversation to have and there's a lot of decisions that have to be made," said Mateo Tiry-Ortiz, Outreach and Enrollment Coordinator for Community Health Care.

Community Health Care is offering free counseling to people in the Quad Cities enrolling in ObamaCare.

Why should you get enrollment help and what do you need before the December 15 deadline?  Find out in our NEWS 8 THIS WEEK EXTRA on Facebook at WQADJim Mertens.

The enrollment period opened just as Democratic candidates put health care front and center on the 2020 political stage.

The Warren Plan

"If somebody else has a better plan to deal with that $11 trillion that families are going to pay over the next 10 years, then they should put it out," said Massachusetts Senator and Presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren.

Senator Warren's recently released Medicare for All plan has $20.5 trillion of new federal spending over ten years.

She says the middle class wouldn't pay more in taxes.

Other Democrats in the Presidential race are skeptics.

"Well, the math is certainly controversial," Pete Buttigieg told ABC News.

"I promise you, you couldn't even get it passed," said former Vice President Joe Biden.

Even Sen. Bernie Sanders, who helped author the original "Medicare for All" plan, has doubts.

"I think that that would probably have a very negative impact on creating those jobs or providing wages, increase wages and benefits for those," he told ABC News.

"So I think we have a better way."

Scott County Democratic chair Elesha Gayman and Republican chair Dave Millage talked about health care issues in today's political arena.

Local Political Leaders Weigh In

Democrats say it's a system that still needs fixing.

"Health care is a huge concern for people," said Scott County Democratic Party chairperson Elesha Gayman.  "People are still going bankrupt."

Democrats say they will make health care one of the key issues of 2020.

"I think the consensus is our health care system needs to be reformed," Gayman added.

Republicans don't necessarily buy that.

"Do the people really want their health insurance or health care delivery system changed?" asked Scott County Republican Party chairman Dave Millage.

"I don't think they do."

Millage says America should scrap one-size-fits-all federal programs that hurt open competition and don't create cost effective savings.

"I don't buy that health care is that big of an issue to the electorate. 186 million people have private insurance. For the most part, they're happy with their insurance."

Adding Up the Numbers

The debate is heating up right now as Iowa and Illinois families are looking at their 2020 options for the Affordable Care Act.

49,210 Iowans are covered by Obamacare.

In Illinois, 312,280 people are enrolled.

A political cartoon from 1949 after President Harry Truman included National Health Care in his sweeping "Fair Deal" proposal.

This year rates are falling for some people.

"We're seeing hat kinda stabilize now with what the premiums are but what one of the things we looked at is we're seeing an increase in some of the tax credits as well," said Tyra-Ortiz with Community Health Care.

He says it's important that people meet with a consultant, or carefully look at the different options, before the December 15 deadline.

Heavily criticized by Republicans, some components have become very popular including mental health and preventative care coverage, coverage for adult children, and coverage for pre-existing conditions.

Democrats see it as more than a health care safety net.

"Health care should absolutely be a human right," said Gayman.

 

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