What does the Affordable Care Act mean for the majority of insured workers?

President and his opponents overstate the effects

TAMPA, Fla. - The Affordable Care Act upheld by the Supreme Court last week will have the most dramatic impact on the poor, the unemployed and the uninsured.

But more than half of all Americans have insurance through their employers and pay only a fraction of the total premium costs themselves.  The President had a message for them Thursday:

"If you're one of the more than 250 million Americans who already have health insurance, you will keep your health insurance," assured the President.

It will work out that way for most people, but a fact check by the Associated Press pointed out that employers will be able drop coverage as they always have.

Companies with more than 50 employees would pay a penalty for not offering insurance, but they could opt out.

GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney made a completely different claim.

"Obamacare also means for up to 20 million Americans, they will lose the insurance currently have, that they like and want to keep," said Romney.

"Very few people believe that," said Health News Florida publisher Carol Gentry.

Gentry believes Romney assumed the worst-case scenario.

"It all depends on whether employers decide to cover their employees or pay a penalty.  I think most employers have a good heart and would rather cover their people.

The President also said this about the insurance most of us already have:  "This law will only make it more secure and more affordable."

Employer-provided health care will likely be more secure under the A.C.A. because of restrictions against dropping sick policy holders and the elimination of lifetime limits. But the affordable part is a stretch.

Carol Gentry doesn't believe the A.C.A. will dramatically slow the ever increasing cost of health care.

"Think about your own insurance.  Does it change every year?  It usually gets more expensive."
 
Another change you can expect -- a tax you'll have to pay on so-called "Cadillac" insurance plans provided by employers.  That tax doesn't go into effect until 2018.

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