Judge: Obamacare rates in Dallas 'lower than expected'

Judge: Obamacare rates in Dallas 'lower than expected'

Credit: WFAA

Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins during an interview with News 8's Jason Whitely on Sept. 26, 2013.

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by JASON WHITELY / WFAA

WFAA

Posted on September 26, 2013 at 9:02 AM

DALLAS –– U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius will return to Texas on Thursday to speak at a community center in West Dallas on how the uninsured can sign up for the Affordable Care Act.

"We've gotten a peek at the rates and they're lower than expected. So we're very excited about that," said Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins during a taping of WFAA-TV’s Inside Texas Politics on Wednesday.

Dallas County is ready to start signing up the uninsured Oct. 1, just two days after the Obama administration released rates on what some coverage plans will cost the uninsured in North Texas.

A family of four that has a net household income of $50,000 a year would pay $26 a month for health insurance, after tax credits, the government reported.

It also revealed that a 27-year-old who makes $25,000 would pay $74 a month for coverage.

"I think there is a lot of misinformation and fear out there,” Jenkins said. “I think on October 2 when the world doesn't end people, as I Love Lucy would say, have some explainin' to do." 

Sebelius will join Jenkins, Mayor Mike Rawlings and selected residents for a panel discussion on what the Affordable Care Act will mean for them. It's open to the public and begins at 10 a.m.  Thursday at the Los Barrios Unidos Community Clinic, located at 809 Singleton Blvd. 

"We still don't know how it's going to be fully implemented,” said State Rep. Matt Krause, R – Fort Worth. “We still don't know how it's going to work. Until we know that I don't think it's going to work the way a lot of people are hoping that it will."

Sen. Ted Cruz, the fresman from Texas, captured the political world Wednesday trying to convince members of his own party to vote to defund the health reform act.

In a long speech similar to a filibuster, Cruz spoke for 21 hours and 19 minutes on the Senate floor.

Republicans said they agree with him and want the Affordable Care Act dismantled, they just disagree on tactics to do so. Cruz argued that if his colleagues did not vote against a spending bill aimed at preventing a government shut down were siding with supporters of the president's health care reform.

 "I'm not willing to shut down the federal government because I think that actually plays into the president's hand. It allows him to change the subject off his failures and the failures of his policies to Republicans," said Sen. John Cornyn, R – Texas.

Rhetoric and debate aren't likely to die but with days left before the exchanges open, few doubt there's any real way now to stop the implementation of Affordable Care Act.

Email jwhitely@wfaa.com 

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