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Gov: More young people enrolling in Obamacare
BEAUMONT- by Haley Bull
The deadline to enroll in health insurance through a federal marketplace has passed for many people, but that doesn't mean the debate on the Affordable Care Act is over.
President Barack Obama said 8 million people signed up for private insurance in the marketplace, above the administration's goals. Naysayers say there's still a laundry list of problems. On thing both sides in Southeast Texas may agree on is the need for young people to have health insurance.
"I believe it's a lot easier to do preventative maintenance versus having to do it after the fact," Sean Villery-Samuel said.
He enrolled in health insurance under the Affordable Care Act.
"For me it was reasonable. I thought it was going to be a lot more, that's what I anticipated, so when I saw the cost I'd actually thought, well hey, this isn't so bad," Samuel said.
It's a price the 32-year old attorney said is worth paying.
"The most important thing is knowing that I am covered. That's really what it comes down to," he said.
The President said roughly a third of the 8 million people who signed up for the plan are like Samuel, younger than 35 years old.
"I'm taking the fine," Cody Sterling said.
Sterling, a 22-year old manager at Sertino's Cafe in Beaumont, said he'd rather take the fine than sign-up.
"I haven't had insurance since I was like 19, 18 years old and I haven't had an issue with it. Why have to pay for something that I can't afford?" Sterling said.
His co-worker, Marlana Rich, blames Obamacare for placing the cost of her insurance out of reach.
"My insurance got cancelled earlier this year. So I don't have insurance anymore," she said.
Rich looked at plans through the Affordable Care Act and found one for $400 a month.
"That's half of what I make every month," Rich said.
The President said about three million young people have signed up.
Beaumont Dr. David Teuscher believes Americans who can afford their own insurance are subsidizing those who can't.
"Their income was below the average so I have to believe they were receiving heavy subsidies which means maybe that they will end up using some of the subsidies from the taxation and the people who would have means, i.e., above average income," Teuscher said. "We're not the ones that signed up."
"The subsidies go into the pool which you draw down from, so the source of the funds aren't that important to the success of the system," State Rep. Joe Deshotel said.
Young people have differing opinions.
"Obamacare, it's all around just a bad idea to me," Rich said.
"For those individuals that have never had health insurance, this is more important and more valuable than anything they may have ever purchased," Samuel said.
Either way, it's a system that's drawing the interest of young people.