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Millions Will Remain Uninsured Following Obamacare Signup Deadline

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The Healthcare.gov website (credit: KAREN BLEIER/AFP/Getty Images)

The Healthcare.gov website (credit: KAREN BLEIER/AFP/Getty Images)

CBS Detroit (con't)

Affordable Care Act Updates: CBSDetroit.com/ACA

Health News & Information: CBSDetroit.com/Health

LANSING (WWJ/AP) – Millions of people in the United States will remain uninsured despite this week’s final, frenzied push to sign them up under the health law. Their reasons are all over the map.

Alan Thacker wants health coverage, but he can’t get help in his home state of Georgia. Mary Moscarello Gutierrez no longer can afford insurance in New Jersey. Justin Thompson of Utah refuses to be forced into it, he says.

Across the country, many of the uninsured just don’t know much about the health overhaul and its March 31 deadline for enrolling in plans that can yield big discounts, researchers say.

An Associated Press-GfK poll found that only one-fourth of the uninsured had tried to sign up through the state or federal insurance marketplaces, also known as exchanges, by late January. If they don’t enroll in time, many will face a fine and be locked out of the subsidized plans until next year.

Some Republicans in Michigan who are unhappy with the Affordable Care Act voiced their opinions on the 4th Anniversary of the signing of the bill.

U.S. Senate Candidate Terri Lynn Land said Obamacare simply does not work.

“I support the policies that will provide real health care reform that will lower the costs and access and allow Michigan families to keep their plans and keep their doctors,” Land said.

“As a mom and a small business owner and public servant, I understand how bad the consequences of Obamacare are and how they affect the everyday lives of folks,” Land said. “Families are losing their doctors, having their plans canceled and paying higher prices for less quality.”

Several families were on hand with Land to speak about their experiences with Obamacare.

Melissa Davert of Bay City says her husband suffers with cerebal palsy; and she, along with their three children, has a rare bone condition. Daybert said at first she was excited about the Affordable Care Act, but then things changed.

“We were one of those 225,000 families in Michigan whose children lost their health care coverage due to this act,” Davert said.

Davert said she’s concerned that if Obamacare is repealed she won’t have any coverage at all.

Meantime, President Barack Obama and a phalanx of advocacy groups, insurance companies and volunteers are scrambling to spread the word about HealthCare.gov as the deadline dangles.

But the complexities of the Affordable Care Act can stymie even the well-informed, and Tap dancer Jessica Wilt just missed being one of them.

Wilt, 37, of New York, lost her health coverage last summer when she was laid off as education director of a small dance company. It wasn’t easy being uninsured — when Wilt slashed her fingertip slicing lemons one night, she avoided an emergency room bill by sealing the cut herself with a super glue.

Wilt was eager to enroll in a marketplace plan but found the premiums too costly for a freelancer doing arts-related jobs. That would have been the end of it, if the accountant doing her income taxes last week hadn’t prodded Wilt to try again. She went online, realized she had erred in projecting her 2014 earnings and qualified for a much bigger subsidy.

“I’m feeling a little embarrassed that I interpreted things the wrong way the first time,” said Wilt, who signed up Friday for a midlevel “silver” plan for $150 per month, a price that reflects a $224 tax credit. “It just goes to show how confusing all this is.”

TM and © Copyright 2014 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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