Carrk: Lots of misinformation about Affordable Care Act

By By Lance Traweek / American Press

With only five days left until open health care enrollment begins, the Department of Health and Human Services on Wednesday

released the 2014 health insurance marketplace premiums for Louisiana.

In a conference call with reporters Wednesday, Tony Carrk, director of health care at the Center for American Progress, said

a lot of misinformation is being spread for political purposes about what the Affordable Care Act will do.

According to Carrk, more than 153,000 Louisianians will have a new way to find health insurance “that fits their needs and

their budget,” he said.

In Louisiana, people will have about 40

different plans to choose from, including bronze, silver and gold

plans. After Tuesday,

Oct. 1, open enrollment will continue until the end of March, but

coverage will begin in January. The marketplace, or,

will show side-by-side comparisons of plans, he said.

These plans must cover important benefits such as doctor visits, hospitalization, maternity care, emergency room visits and


“There is going to be a new way to find health insurance,” he said. “No one should worry about going broke or going bankrupt

because of an illness. What this law does is provide more security to families.”

Jan Muller, director of the Louisiana Budget Project, said he wants the public to be aware that most Louisianians will not

see a change in their coverage as a result of the marketplace going online.

“Most people in Louisiana get coverage either through their employer or Medicare or Medicaid, and that’s not going to change,”

Muller said during the conference call.

Carrk also brought up other provisions that are already enacted in the health law that are benefitting Louisiana. “For instance,

a young adult up to the age of 26 can stay on their parents’ coverage,” he said. There are 53,000 insured young adults in

Louisiana taking advantage of that provision.

And more than 60,000 senior citizens have been issued rebates to make prescription drugs more affordable, saving them $42

million last year, Caark said.

The law also boosted preventive care and allowed those with pre-existing conditions to have access to health insurance.

“We can already see that the law is

having an impact, and it’s already helping people,” he said. “It’s

already putting people

back in charge of their care, whereas before the insurance

companies were able to have these discriminatory abuses that were

in effect.”