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The Affordable Care Act in Georgia

SUPREME COURT DECISION

Obamacare
DOUG MILLS

Court upholds Obamacare tax credits

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The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday upheld the tax credits that made Obamacare affordable for millions of Americans, including more than 400,000 in Georgia, turning aside arguments that a flaw in the law made the tax credits illegal.

The 6-3 ruling is the first of two blockbuster rulings expected from the court before its term ends this month. The other ruling, still to come, concerns the constitutionality of gay marriage.

In the Obamacare case, King v. Burwell, the plaintiffs failed in their bid to show that four words in the more than 900-page Affordable Care Act voided most of the tax credits awarded to individuals who bought insurance on an online Health Insurance Marketplace, known in the law as an “exchange.”

WHAT COMES NEXT

moral monday healthcare medicaid
Ben Gray

Georgia’s Obamacare stalemate deepens

Now that President Barack Obama’s landmark health care law has twice been upheld by the nation’s highest court, Georgia’s state and federal leaders are coming to the begrudging recognition that the legislation won’t be changed any time soon.

But the well-dug trenches remain unmoved: Most Democrats insist on a Medicaid expansion in the state as the only path forward.

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MEDICAID EXPANSION

Arkansas hospital
Hyosub Shin

Medicaid expansion still off the table in Georgia

LITTLE ROCK — A growing number of red states are intensely debating — and some actively pursuing — Republican-friendly ways to extend health insurance to their poorest citizens under the Affordable Care Act, a law they’ve long reviled. Georgia isn’t one of those states.

Indeed, the issue remains so politically toxic here that many Georgia Republicans are loath even to utter the phrase “Medicaid expansion” under the Gold Dome.  |  Map: Which states expanded Medicaid?

»  THE ARKANSAS SOLUTION:  Boosts rural hospitals  |  ‘Private option’ on Medicaid

»  VIDEOS:  Arkansas' Medicaid experiment  |  Orlando's story

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HEALTHCARE PLANS

obamacare

Obamacare enrollment soars in Georgia

Georgia experienced one of the biggest spikes in Obamacare health coverage sign-ups nationwide this year — up 71 percent from the federal insurance marketplace’s first year of operation, federal data shows.

Roughly 541,000 Georgians enrolled in Affordable Care Act health plans for 2015. More than half are new to the online marketplace and nine in 10 qualify for federal tax credits to help lower their monthly payments. Experts say the jump in enrollment reflects pent-up demand for health insurance from millions of Americans, especially in states that have not expanded Medicaid as called for by the health care law.

»  RELATED:  More Health coverage

Marketplace primer

open enrollment

Obamacare: need to know

Created by the Affordable Care Act, the online Health Insurance Marketplace where people can shop for health coverage offered by private insurance companies.

Nine insurance companies are offering health plans on the marketplace, at HealthCare.gov, for 2015. Consumers can also learn on the site whether they qualify for federal tax credits or government insurance.

Read on to learn some of the basics you should know about the marketplace.

interactive

obamacare interactive

How will the ACA affect me?

The Affordable Care Act is massive, often confusing and downright overwhelming.

So we've created an interactive tool that walks you through the law whether you have insurance through an employer, buy your own, are covered by the government, or have no insurance at all.

Read on to learn more about the ACA may impact you.


VOICES OF HEALTH CARE

ellen wall

Georgians share their Obamacare experiences

A year ago, as the Obama administration prepared to roll out its new health care marketplace, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution profiled 20 people on how the advent of Obamacare would affect them.

Some were uninsured, some held individual-market policies, some were business owners considering whether to cover their employees.

As the second open enrollment period commences, we’ve returned to several of those people to see what’s happened with them and their health care. We feature four today with wildly different experiences.

INSURANCE COVERAGE

For millions in Georgia, a toothache not treated by Obamacare

For millions in Georgia, a toothache not treated by Obamacare

Bruce Williams, 53, who lives in Atlanta, is one of the estimated more than 4 million Georgians without dental coverage. Many haven’t seen a dentist in decades. Places like Mercy Care offer free dental clinics, but resources are limited and the clinic staffs are only able to help a small fraction of the people who need care. The Affordable Care Act aimed to provide access to those without medical or dental insurance, but dental wasn’t considered one of the law’s “essential health benefits.” | Photos

»  RELATED:  Healthcare writer shares her Obamacare misadventures

Obamacare in Atlanta

jimmie peterson

How will uninsured in Georgia cope

About one in five Georgians doesn't have health insurance -- one of the highest rates in the country.

The Affordable Care Act was designed to reach these very people in one of two ways: the sale of private coverage on the Health Insurance Marketplace combined with a greatly expanded Medicaid program. But Georgia decided not to expand Medicaid, which will mean that hundreds of thousands of people remain without coverage.

Many uninsured will continue to do what they’ve done for years: live without health care until a condition turns into an emergency and forces a trip to the ER.

» Read more stories from our Voices of Health Care series


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AJC launches Breakdown, a new podcast series

AJC launches Breakdown, a new podcast series

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