Obamacare rang in this morning (and with it, a "government shutdown"), but while the plans are now underway to roll out affordable healthcare to most Americans, Obamacare exemptions, exchanges, and other clauses are being fully viewed by the public for the first time.
If Obamacare's exemptions do not cover you, each state has their own exchange -- with non-participating states going to a federal exchange under the law's provisions.
The following Obamacare exemptions impact Americans who, for instance, earn too little to qualify for the mandate but too much to receive the expanded Medicaid package for low-income families -- mainly in states where Republicans blocked full implelentation of Obamacare, or the Affordable Care and Treatment Act.
"These are people who can't afford it: For example, people who make so little they don't have to file a tax return are exempt... People who are in this country without authorization are exempted, as are members of a federally recognized American Indian tribe who are eligible for services through an American Indian health care provider and people with certain religious beliefs that conflict with acceptance of the benefits of private or public insurance... People with certain hardships are also exempt; so are people in states that don't expand Medicaid."
Obamacare exemptions are not likely to be used by most of the populace, nor are Obamacare fines expected to be levied against the people affected by the law. According to one MIT professor who helped design a similar program in Massachusetts,Americans historically are eager to participate in such new programs -- citing the state as a small-scale example of how Obamacare mandates may play out.
Economist Jonathan Gruber explains:
"I think the penalties should be higher, but they are still enough to make the law effective... In Massachusetts we had people flooding in to sign up. You know Americans are almost uniquely law-abiding people, we massively overpay our taxes in terms of what people do in the rest of the world. When you say it is the law to have health insurance I think people will get health insurance."
To check out new state exchanges and see if you qualify for Obamacare exemptions, HealthCare.gov now has links to each state and its site for participation in the new law's implementation.