AL governor opposed to Obamacare but won't stand in its way - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

AL governor opposed to Obamacare but won't stand in its way

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MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) -

A major portion of the Affordable Care Act, or "Obamacare", goes into effect in just days. And while Alabama Governor Robert Bentley is opposed to the new law, he says he's not opposed to it taking effect.

The reason he's not opposed to it taking effect is because he thinks Obamacare will fail and leave thousands of Alabamians still without insurance.

The section that goes into affect in the coming days opens the new online exchanges where uninsured Americans can buy insurance. Bentley says, unlike some other Republican governors, he won't get in the way.

Governor Bentley is steadfast in his opposition to the federal healthcare law and he won't expand Medicaid, but if people want to shop for insurance on the exchange, the state won't stop them.

Alabama is clearing the way for folks to sign up for coverage starting next week. The Kaiser Foundation Estimates there are 370,000 eligible Alabamians who could sign up using the exchange and Alabama's won't block them from signing up for what could be affordable health plans depending on age, income, and where they live.

"We're not obstructing anything. We're just not participating in and we're not a part of it. We're not obstructing anything," Bentley says.

In other words, some in Alabama, and not all, could take advantage of Obamacare. The governor reiterated that Alabama won't expand Medicaid, even scolding the idea.

"You will never get them off of an entitlement program," the governor said. "The nearest thing to eternal life on this earth is an entitlement program, and you won't get that changed."

The governor says he's against a federal government shut down over the law. He described that as a move that goes too far, but added he understands many of Alabama's members of Congress trying to stop an unpopular federal law that's been on the books for more than three years.

So what is it that actually happens on Tuesday? That's when you can begin shopping for health insurance at www.healthcare.gov. The exchanges feature plans offered by private insurance companies like Blue Cross/Blue Shield.in Alabama.

The average price of a middle-of-the road plan is around $200 for an individual and $750 for a family of four. That's according to the Health and Human Services Department.

But if your income is below a certain level, those prices will be lower as a result of government subsidies. And those who can't afford any type of private insurance can still sign up for Medicaid.

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