Mississippians have until midnight to sign-up for the Affordable Care Act or Obamacare as it's commonly called. Advocates say nothing has changed regarding coverage for 2017, despite President Trump's efforts to repeal it. We take a look at the impact of repealing the program for some Mississippians.
For 10 years, Barbara Davis of Jackson, suffered with tightness in her chest. The 57-year old church custodian didn't have insurance and bought over the counter medications that did little to help. After enrolling in the Affordable Care Act or Obamacare three years ago, Davis learned she had asthma. She's afraid repealing the program will leave her without health insurance again.
"I will not know what to do if something happens and I have an asthma attack and can't get my medicine and I cannot see the doctor. It would devastate me," said Davis.
Roy Mitchell is with the Mississippi Health Advocacy Program. He says Obamacare requires private health plans for many employers, the self-insured and also Medicare recipients receive basic services like checkups without co-pays.
"No deductible, no cost-sharing for preventive screenings, for immunizations, this is for adults, women, children and we could see this removed as well," said Mitchell.
One of the biggest criticisms of Obamacare is people shouldn't pay a penalty for not buying coverage and the premiums are skyrocketing. Rita Moore of Jackson, says her premiums have doubled to more than $300. Prior to Obamacare, she couldn't get health insurance because of osteoarthritis in her spine. Moore's pleased with her coverage. But she no longer qualifies for a subsidy and is looking for alternatives.
"It is a better deal. I haven't found anything up to this point that can match that," said Moore.
The state insurance department says more than 80-thousand Mississippians are enrolled in Obamacare. Roy Mitchell with the Mississippi Health Advocacy Program says the number of Mississippians without health insurance and uncompensated care at hospitals have both declined by 25 percent because of the insurance program.