That's the message from
"We at Covered California and those insured should live in the here and now," he told The Californian. "We're open for business, the law is on the books, and people who have subsidies will have them through 2017."
What does change on a dime? Getting diagnosed with cancer or getting into a car accident, Lee said. And that's why you need health insurance, he said.
Enrollment is open through
"If people are confused, take a deep breath, go online and find someone in the community to answer your questions," Lee said.
And getting help is free, he said.
Lee also stressed that signing up for healthcare coverage through Covered California is not signing up for "government care." In
Lee said he's not worried people will eschew coverage because they think Obamacare is going away. He's worried, as he's been from
Lee calls it "crazy math" because paying the penalty means paying to get nothing.
Schilling is pretty confident nothing will happen to people's coverage in 2017, saying his read of things is that when people sign up and pay for insurance, whether with a private company or the federal government, they're entering into a binding contract for the term of it.
Beyond that, who knows what changes to the nation's healthcare system Trump and the Republican-controlled
Schilling is even less certain about what Trump intends to do about the system under which people get insurance through exchanges like Covered California.
He said Trump seems to like some provisions, such as requiring insurance companies to cover people with pre-existing conditions and allowing children stay on their parents' plans into their mid-20s. Trump seems to dislike the government mandate that people buy, and employers provide, insurance.
Problem is, Schilling said, costs will skyrocket without insurance mandates that bring money into the system. Premiums are going up now, he said, in part because the current individual and employer mandates are too "wimpy."
"As long as we keep people out of the risk pool, or allow them to leave the risk pool, the pool gets more expensive," Schilling said.
Trump is going to learn that there are other important parts of the program that ought to be maintained, he said, such as filling gaps in coverage for seniors and requiring that insurers spend 85 percent of their money on patient care.
But you can't change one piece of the puzzle without impacting a whole lot of other pieces, so it will probably take a year or more to sort out, Schilling predicted.
How it will play out has huge ramifications for the country, he said, and to him it all looks up in the air.
"There are a ton of extremely confusing and mixed messages coming out of
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