Listen: Aired On Saturday, December 14, 5 PM, On Up First.
"Tomorrow is the last day of twenty twenty. The open enrollment on healthcare dot Gov the insurance exchange set up by the affordable care act also known as Obamacare Republicans have long been trying to weaken obamacare. Both within an out of court still people in many parts of the country will find more plan choices at lower premiums on the exchange. NPR's Selena Simmons Duffin has more on. What what you need to know? Hi Salina High. All right first. Obamacare has been remarkably resilient right yes so president trump used to say that the exchanges would collapse and he made a number of policy changes to change the law some would say undermine the law and many people have heard that the individual mandate now has zero dollar penalty so that part of it has gone away way and yet the exchanges are still there they are more insurers are offering plans. This year premiums are down a little bit and eighty percent of people are eligible for subsidies cities. I'm just to give you a sense. For what premiums are like on the exchanges they use a metal system so bronze is the cheapest plan and it goes up to platinum and and the average premium for a bronze plan is three hundred and thirty one dollars For Gold Plan. It's five hundred dollars the deadlines a month. Yeah per month right so so. The deadline for healthcare dot Gov is Sunday December Fifteenth but twelve states and D C a run their own exchanges. And some have extended deadlines varies based on where you live so you should make sure you know your deadline to spend a lot of discussion about obviously obamacare over the years. How's it going so as we talked about President President Trump's actions probably have depressed enrolment? Enrolment has been down slightly every year since two thousand sixteen but not what many had feared based on some of the things said. He has done Last year more than eleven million people enrolled. And we're on track to be slightly behind that this year. I'm definitely there are people who could enroll who aren't aren't as a reminder. This is these health. Insurance exchanges allow people individuals to bide their health insurance on marketplace. And one thing to note. Is that the Kaiser. Your Family Foundation which studies health insurance found that many people who are currently uninsured. They're twenty seven million people uninsured who are not enrolling on the exchanges. About five million people would be eligible for plans with zero dollar premiums on the exchanges so zero dollars would pay no money at Paul for their healthcare their monthly premium if they actually enrolled. Why wouldn't they enroll? So the theory is that it's because of a lack of outreach. One of the actions that President Trump's trump's administration took to change. The law is radically. Cut back the funding to do outreach and to do advertising to let people know that this exists so people just may not. I don't know that this is actually a thing that they're entitled to and they're not actually signing up. If you do go to the exchange do you have any tips for consumers. Yes the thing that people experts in this field always say. Is You have to shop around. Shopping for health. Insurance is extremely hard trying to figure out your networks works and your drugs and what's covered and what you're going to need in the coming year. You have to do this kind of prognostication but you have to do it if you just let yourself. If you're already enrolled golden you let yourself being auto enrolled. You're probably going to be missing out on things because insurers offer new plans so you gotta log in you got to check it out and you gotTa make sure that you're on an official exchange website because there are some skinny plans there. Are these other health insurance websites that you can kind to find yourself clicking through to and they might not give you robust covering it actually might just be healthcare in name only exactly all right. NPR's Selena Simmons Duffin. Thank you so much coach. Thank you a British prime minister. Boris Johnson won Thursday's election with what he called a a powerful mandate to get brexit done. Let's terms on which Great Britain leaves. The European Union are still unclear. The prime minister faces a country that is still divided and pulling at the seams and pears. Frank Langfitt is in London. Frank thanks so much for being with us. Good Morning Scott. Prime Minister Johnson's Party when the biggest majority for a conservative government government since Margaret Thatcher. What does that mean immediately for Brexit Brexit? He's right Brexit is going to happen and in fact he will happen very soon. He didn't have the votes before. That's WII called this election and he has a really big majority but as you point out the future isn't clear like what what's this relationship going to be going forward. They're going to have to work on a free trade deal and and the interesting thing is I think a lot of people who wanted the UK to stay inside the EU are very disheartened by this huge majority of the Boris Johnson. Got On the other hand. It actually frees up. Boris I Johnson to be able to maybe have a closer economic relationship with the EU. Going forward once they leave because he's not beholden to sort of hard-right of his party. Now anymore the ones who really don't like Europe and so I think it's GonNa be really interesting to see. Scott is what kind of future. Boris Johnson Forges now that he has this political freedom him he has to negotiate trade deal with the EU in extremely short period of time. He said he's not going to ask for an extension. So there's Philip possibility of an ordeal brexit. You know Wednesday I might have said that before. This vote It's now that he has all these big numbers. I actually think that he is going back on. Thinks he's he's made these pledges and then gone back on them. I think that he probably has the political capital to extend again if he needs to and certainly if he wants a good complex and comprehensive the he's GonNa need an extension. The idea of doing this in eleven months with the European Union is nobody in Brussels believes. That's possible so I think that the cliff edge that that we are expecting maybe at the end of next year he can probably work his way through. And then there's the challenge of of what's going on in Scotland because of course. The Scottish National Party ran the table. did very well in the election on a platform of opposing brexit and They're claiming their own mandate for new referendum on Scottish statehood. That's got to be a challenge to. It's a big challenge and I think that what you're going to see is Nicholas Sturgeon the head of Scottish National Party asking for another referendum. Boris Johnson has said under no circumstances and in order for that referendum to be real to actually have an effect here it has to be approved by the UK government To have that kind of referendum. What I think is going to be interesting as you go and get into twenty twenty one? They'll be Scottish parliamentary elections and if the SNP does well then it's going but a lot of pressure on. Boris Johnson to to continue to refuse This request from you know where to look like from the Scottish people themselves if they keep voting in this direction The other thing though that's really interesting. Scott as you look at the European Union the Scottish National Party says we we want to leave the UK and rejoined the EU. We never wanted to leave in the first place. Is the European Union going to be willing to take Scotland back. It does not want to be encouraging countries breaking up so it's very complicated in the next. I think the next couple of viewers are going to be very important. See what happens in Scotland for the future of the United Kingdom. Prime Minister Johnson has vowed to get this all done by January. Thirty one twenty eight twenty. Is that possible. Yeah full steam ahead now now that he has this majority. It's GonNa be opposite of the paralysis that I've been talking about the last three years. He's he's got the numbers. He uh parliament's going to reopen next week. He's going to introduce his. What has been a failed brexit withdrawal agreement up until this point and it should easily pass and I think everyone's expectation is at the end of January the UK is out of the EU NPR's? Frank Langfitt thanks so much. Happy to do I for Saturday December fourteenth. I'm Scott side and I'm Lou Garcia. Navarro I is back Monday with news to start your day and follow was on social media. Of course we're at first on twitter and of course you know the news doesn't stop when they don't you. We've got radio shows for that. We do weekend edition in Saturday and Sunday. Find it on your NPR station at stations dot NPR dot Org."