Concerns about changes to come as Obamacare deadline approaches

What to expect in healthcare under Trump admin
Posted at 5:59 PM, Jan 31, 2017
and last updated 2017-01-31 17:59:05-05

People around Tampa rushed to sign up for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act marketplace on Tuesday before the final deadline, uncertain whether they'll get the same chance ever again.

Tuesday night deadline for 'Obamacare' coverage

"I am very nervous," said Anneliese Meyer, a marketplace assistant, "not only for myself, but for all the people that I've helped in here."

Meyer says the last few days have been especially busy at the SRA International Tampa Enrollment Assistance Center.

She signed up for Obamacare three years ago and hasn't stopped since.

"I'm very grateful," she said, "because it has saved me $100 or $200 a month."

However, the Congressional Budget Office estimates some 18 million could lose their insurance if Congress repeals Obamacare as they've announced they plan to.

"I think everybody has a reason to worry," said Dr. Jay Wolfson, a USF Health professor.

He thinks beneficiaries and patients will be impacted the most, but he doesn't think lawmakers will cut millions from getting insured.

"For some they'll be going back to what they had," he said. "For others it will be finding more challenging ways to access the system."

He also thinks lawmakers will keep many things that people like about Obamacare.

"No preexisting conditions," he said, "allowing children to stay in the plan until they're 26, addressing the high cost of Part B, which is a senior drug program; all of those things are probably going to remain because the democrats and republicans all like those."

Meyer is encouraging everyone she can to sign up through the marketplace despite any potential changes.

"I think the more people who sign up for it will send a sign to Washington," she said. "Hey, we need this, don’t get rid of it, let's improve it, let's make it better."