At last night’s CNN presidential debate in Jacksonville, Florida, the GOP candidates told an unemployed woman in need of health insurance that they would repeal the health reform law that could help her find coverage and give her a tax deduction to go out and find her own insurance.
The woman — Lynn Frazier — said she found herself “unemployed for the first time in 10 years and unable to afford health benefits.” Under the Affordable Care Act, Frazier may qualify for temporary insurance in the state’s high-risk pool, which already provides coverage for 3,285 Floridians who can’t find affordable coverage elsewhere. In two years, she’ll be able to pick out a health policy through the state’s Exchange. All private insurers will offer a comprehensive basic set of benefits and allow consumers like Frazier to compare and contrast different plans to find the coverage that works best for them and their family. Insurers won’t be able to deny insurance based on past illness or rescind coverage unexpectedly, as they often do in today’s health market, and Frazier will pay a “community” rate and may even qualify for tax credits to help her afford her premiums and out of pocket cost-sharing expenses.
The Republican candidates pledged to undo these benefits and instead encouraged her to find coverage “as an individual” — on her own — with the help of a government tax deduction: (more…)