The cost of the Affordable Care Act is about $5 billion a year less than originally projected, mostly because insurance premiums were lower than expected, the Congressional Budget Office said Monday.

The Affordable Care Act’s first open enrollment deadline has passed, and the total exceeded expectations, despite a rocky start.
The bickering between the critics and the administration continues, according to an editorial in the Ocala Star-Banner, but the fact remains that millions of Americans who couldn’t get coverage before now have insurance because of the law.  The success is even more startling, considering how hard opponents in Florida worked to stand in the way of the ACA.  

Gov. Rick Scott is not backing down from a pair of campaign ads that state 300,000 Floridians lost their Florida Blue health insurance because of the Affordable Care Act, the Miami Herald reports. The ads attack Scott’s presumed opponent, Charlie Crist, for his support of the federal health law, and use a claim about the Floridians losing insurance that was rated “Mostly False” by PolitiFact.

Former Republican Charlie Crist, now gunning for his old gubernatorial job as a Democrat, is reaffirming his support for the Affordable Care Act, the Naples Daily News reports. At a campaign stop Monday in Naples, Crist cited a PolitiFact ruling of “mostly false” on Gov.

In a Florida Matters show first aired Tuesday night on WUSF 89.7 FM, a panel of experts answers reader and listener questions about the Affordable Care Act.

Lottie Watts

 In a Florida Matters show that first aired Tuesday night on WUSF 89.7 FM, a panel of experts answers reader and listener questions about the Affordable Care Act.

Kate Barth

In a Florida Matters show first aired Tuesday night on WUSF 89.7 FM, a panel of experts answers reader and listener questions about the Affordable Care Act.

With the March 31 deadline to buy health care looming, Florida ranks first in overall sign-ups for states with the federal government-run marketplace, at nearly 442,000. 

The Wordsmith, 2009

With just two weeks left before Affordable Care Act enrollment ends, Miami-Dade cab drivers may be getting a big tip. 

 Though controversy over health care reform continues, America’s governors appear to agree on one thing: the Affordable Care Act is here to stay, according to the Associated Press

This weekend in Washington D.C., Republican and Democratic governors said a complete repeal of the law would be impractical, especially since states already are implementing the ACA with varying degrees of success, the AP reports.

Amid the ongoing Medicaid expansion debate, health consultant Paul Gionfriddo points to several studies that say thousands nationwide could die prematurely if Medicaid is not expanded. At his blog Our Health Policy Matters, Gionfriddo writes that lawmakers should not ignore the compelling data indicating the life and death impacts of health coverage through Medicaid.

In the wake of President Obama’s State of the Union speech, which highlighted income inequality, health consultant Paul Gionfriddo points out there’s another pressing inequity: health insurance subsidies for some of the poorest Americans.

At his blog Our Health Policy Matters, consultant Paul Gionfriddo laments the proposal by Congress to cut $1 billion from what has already been promised for public health and prevention. After all the dust settled with the Affordable Care Act, the Prevention Fund that was supposed to contain $80 billion had only $15 billion -- and Congress keeps trying to cut more. 

Leslie Wyer, 60, says the health-insurance policy she bought through the Affordable Care Act is one of  the best Christmas presents she’s ever received. The Ormond Beach resident lost her insurance more than three years ago after her divorce, and she faces $175,000 in bills related to chronic Crohn’s disease.

At his blog Our Health Policy Matters, consultant Paul Gionfriddo breaks down what he calls "fake facts" about the Affordable Care Act. Gionfriddo has a list of five things about Obamacare that are often repeated even though they're not true. 

If you think buying health insurance under the Affordable Care Act has been complicated, just wait. Buying dental coverage on the health exchanges, it turns out, is even more confusing.

Dental coverage for children is one of the benefits that must be offered under the law. But, it turns out, a loophole in the law means that — in most states — families don't actually have to buy that coverage.

These rules are so confusing that they even tripped me up.

About 35,000 Floridians who found they were eligible for health coverage through Medicaid are still waiting for confirmation that they’re covered, Kaiser Health News reports.


FREEPORT  — In this rural part of the Panhandle, Christopher Mitchell finds few takers when he delivers his message about the importance of exploring insurance options under the federal health overhaul. 

Florida Today

(UPDATED) Thousands of previously uninsured Floridians woke up Wednesday morning with peace of mind for the first time in years: They had a health insurance card, or at least the promise that one is in the mail.

They're the lucky ones who were able to get through the enrollment process in the federal Health Insurance Marketplace website,, by Christmas Eve.  Coverage through the exchange is one of the key parts of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act that took effect Jan. 1.

Most lawmakers aren’t going the way of Rep. Dennis Ross, R-Lakeland, who has purchased a private health insurance plan and rejected a subsidy to buy coverage on the federal marketplace created under the Affordable Care Act. 

As the Tampa Bay Times reports, the subsidy pays for up to 75 percent of premiums for members of Congress.  The perk became a target in the political fight over the implementation of the law.  

In recent months, NPR staff has published a series of questions-and-answer stories related to the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare. Now we've compiled them into an interactive so you can explore answers that are most relevant to you.

There are nearly 80 questions, ranging from who's eligible to how much insurance might cost, among two dozen topics. Filter the list by selecting categories or asking questions.

Did we miss an important question? Let us know.

A Stuart-based insurance agency that’s the subject of an ongoing state investigation over its “Obamacare Enrollment Team” -- which has no links to any official agency -- is offering donations to nonprofits who help recruit people to sign up for health insurance plans, the Herald/Times Tallahassee Bureau reports.

President Obama's oft-repeated promise that "if you like your health care plan, you can keep it" is 2013's "lie of the year," according to the fact checkers at the Tampa Bay Times' nonpartisan PolitiFact project.

PolitiFact says that:


Gov. Rick Scott, who is running for re-election, chose not to answer questions Wednesday about whether he still supports Medicaid expansion -- for which the federal government has offered Florida $51 billion over the next decade as part of the Affordable Care Act.

More Floridians are signing up for the new federal health insurance program than residents in any other state, with nearly 18,000 registering over the last two months.

According to figures released Wednesday, nearly 14,500 Floridians signed up under the Affordable Care Act in November. That compares to about 11,000 in Texas.

Florida's November enrollment figures are considerably higher than the 3,500 in October when sign-ups were dwarfed by technical glitches with But it's still far less than what officials originally had projected.

At his site Our Health Policy Matters, health consultant Paul Gionfriddo writes that it’s incorrect that Republicans came up with no alternatives to the Affordable Care Act. They did, and some of their proposals were quite similar to provisions in the ACA, including state-based exchanges and prohibiting insurers from denying coverage to people with pre-existing conditions.

Getting people to sign up for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act remains an uphill battle in much of Florida.

Politicians in the state erected roadblocks to the law from the beginning — from joining in the 2010 lawsuit to thwart the law to placing restrictions on what insurance helpers called navigators can tell people seeking advice.

Navigators in Florida say they’ve had to re-do some of the applications for coverage on submitted during the first few weeks of open enrollment, McClatchy News Service reports. The lead navigator for Primary Care Access Network in Central Florida said many of the applications for the health insurance marketplace submitted over the phone, by mail and online have been lost.

Technological glitches are being blamed for mistakes in up to a quarter of enrollment records filed in the first two months on the federal online exchange, the New York Times reports. Even now, roughly one in 10 applications being sent to insurance companies for processing could contain errors.

People filling out insurance applications on the federal marketplace may learn they're eligible for Medicaid and their information is being sent to state officials to sign them up. However, states are getting unusable information because of technical problems that continue to plague the website.