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The health insurance marketplace opens

Floridians stand to save money – no thanks to Republican obstructionism

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Actually, trying to divine a narrative from the HHS report has proven difficult for most of the state’s newspapers, largely because there are just so many numbers offered and virtually no connecting fabric to reveal a trend. Rates may be lower than expected when gazed upon from atop a giant philosophical mountain, but peering in closer – like, say, just at the state of Florida – there are 67 counties with widely varying rates, and Orlando ranks sixth most expensive on average of the 25 U.S. cities broken down in the report. We’re winning! We’re losing! Add in the confusion of federal subsidies, and you’ll basically need to go back to college for an advanced degree.

Which, in some ways, is Florida’s Obamacare tragedy. The victims, beyond just the one million tossed into the Medicaid gap by the legislature, are all of the state’s 3.5 million uninsured. Because Gov. Rick Scott and his rotting cabinet fought this thing tooth and nail – right down to trying to forbid so-called Navigators from traipsing on health department properties to educate the uninsured (several counties are refusing that order) – we’re now existing in a perfect storm of misinformation. And if nobody young decides to (or knows how to) enroll in the exchanges – as Republicans have tried to convince them to by climbing between their legs in commercials – then the whole thing falls apart. The GOP might want to call that “strategy”; we’d be more inclined toward “nihilism.”

But it’s not the end of the world. If you’re 27 in Orlando and making about $25,000 a year, odds are that your base insurance premium for the cheapest plan will only be around $102 a month after subsidies. Just go to healthcare.gov and tool around a little bit to find out what’s best for you. You have until mid-December to buy in; maybe by then the powers that be will be finished looking out for their own political interests instead of your health.

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