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Answering Obamacare Questions
WASHINGTON, D.C. (WKRC) -- Local 12 News and our Sinclair sister stations have been soliciting your questions about the healthcare exchange roll out this week. We asked National Correspondent Kristine Frazao to find the answers to your questions.
From Magna, Utah and a viewer of KUTV, Peter asks, "I am unemployed. How do I pay for health care?"
For that answer we spoke to Mary Agnes Carey, Senior Correspondent with Kaiser Health News. "There will be subsides to help people who fall into certain income guidelines. It's 100% to 400% of the poverty level." For an individual that's an income of about 11,500 dollars to 45,000 dollars.
This next point is from Michael in Freehold, New York and WRGB-TV. He says, quote, "I don't understand how the House and Senate pass a law they didn't read and then exempt themselves from the law, but make it mandatory for everyone else?"
It's a good question but only partially correct. Mary Agnes Carey says, "The law requires members of Congress and their personal staffs to purchase on the health insurance exchanges but the rest of Congress doesn't have to do that." So those exempt are members of committees and other staff.
The next pair of questions comes from viewers of WPEC in South Florida. From Stan in Bryant, he asks, "How can the President blame Republicans for a shutdown of government when he and Senator Reid refuse to negotiate?"
In Washington it's a blame game from both sides. Senator Ted Cruz says, Harry Reid has said, Whatever you do, I won't talk to you. But the President says he is willing to negotiate with both Democrats and Republicans, just not over a law that has already been implemented. Obama says, The affordable care act is a law that passed House, it passed the Senate, the Supreme Court ruled it constitutional. It was a central issue in last year's election. It is settled, and it is here to stay.
And finally, Patrick in Dewey Beach asks, "Will the subsidies paid to individuals for the Affordable Care Act Considered to be taxable income?"
The short answer for that is simply, no.