Obamacare's Local Effect

Panama City -- About 3.8 million Floridians are uninsured. That's 1/4th of the state's population.

Sixty-two thousand of those live in the Newschannel 7 viewing area, 30,000 in Bay county.

None of this comes as a surprise to emergency room nurse Karen McDaniel.

"I think we see them all at Bay Medical in the E.R. We really do, on a daily basis," said McDaniel.

Uninsured patients using the emergency room as their primary physician is a major contributor to the local cost of indigent care.

"We are going to see them. We see them. The taxpayers absorb that cost, continued McDaniel."

Obamacare is supposed to alleviate that situation.

From October 1st to March 31st, every uninsured American must acquire healthcare insurance, or face a $95 penalty this year, and a $695 penalty next year.'

Additionally, businesses over 50 employees will now be required to provide employees insurance.Some local business owners say it's going to be a burden.

"You know we don't make enough money, the margins are too small to cover employees insurance. So that is going to hinder our growth. Since i can't provide insurance now, i won't be able to provide it then," said maintenance company Around The Clock owner Victor Carnero.

Low end coverage will be between $40-50 a month. Varying amounts of government assistance will be available depending on consumers income levels.


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