AirTalk for October 1, 2013

Forget defunding, here's the thing that could really sink Obamacare

Health Care Activists Offer Free Health Screenings In Los Angeles

David McNew/Getty Images

A nurse checks the blood pressure of a patient as nurses and physicians give free basic health screenings on July 10, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. Despite the debates over the Affordable Care Act that have caused a government shutdown, part of Obamacare started today when the online healthcare exchange market opened.

Covering California series icon 2013

Defunding efforts aside, health insurance exchanges under Obamacare are coming online Tuesday, where consumers can shop online for health plans and check out what kind of federal subsidies they qualify for.

Covered California is the state's online marketplace and will launch today. The Golden State is one of 14 states that have established its own health insurance marketplace. The federal government will operate exchanges in the remaining states.

The success and failure of the Affordable Care Act, many observers argue, will depend on one thing: the ability of it to attract enough healthy, young people to sign up.

RELATED: FAQ: Is Obamacare a good thing for California's small businesses?

They are much cheaper to insure and their buy in is necessary in order to balance out older, sicker patients that will cost the system more. It’s not a coincidence that young people is being bombarded by ads from both supporters and detractors of Obamacare.

RELATED: FAQ: Navigating Covered California's health insurance exchange

But how many young people does Obamacare need to enlist in order for it to be sustainable? If it fails to do so, is Obamacare doomed? If you are currently uninsured, are you going to sign up for care through Covered California?

Guests:

Shana Lavarreda, Director of Health Insurance Studies, UCLA Center for Health Policy Research

Avik Roy, Senior Fellow, Manhattan Policy Institute; In 2012, Roy was a health care policy advisor to Mitt Romney


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