Tax day in America arrives in one week. Many have already filed but many have not. For those who have, the degree of difficulty in accounting for whether you are covered with health insurance was about zero. For those who have yet to file their forms, a week remains to either get covered or pay the legal fine for not having insurance through your employer or through a healthcare market exchange near you.

As another public service to PB readers on issues critical to their health and wallet, don’t ask for whom the healthcare bell tolls, it tolls for thee, if you’re not covered. But there’s still time! And the more people understand about the law — if they can rid their minds of the misinformation Republicans have been spewing about it for going on four years now — the more they like it.

Getting Better All The Time

To help boost your spirits, Gallup polling shows that the view among Americans with respect to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act [ACA] is getting better all the time. From its findings, Gallup says Americans’ views are more positive now than they were last fall, although overall attitudes remain more negative than positive. Gallup notes that only half of Americans now disapprove of the 2010 law, while 44 percent, approaching the 48 percent who liked it following its passage in 2010, now approve. This represents the narrowest gap since October 2013. By comparison to last November, just after Republicans won victory after victory in the mid-term elections, 56 percent of Americans disapproved compared to 37 who approved. It’s getting better all the time.

Bottom line, if you owe a fee with your taxes for not having health coverage in 2014, and don’t yet have health coverage for 2015, you may still be able to get coverage. The Health Insurance Marketplace is providing individuals and families who need to pay the fee when they file their 2014 taxes with one last chance to get covered for 2015. If you don’t have coverage for the remainder of 2015, you’ll risk having to pay the fee again next year for the portion of this year that you don’t have coverage, HHS said Wednesday.

The fee for people who don’t have coverage increases in 2015 to $325 per person or 2 percent of your household income, whichever is higher.

Gallup breaks no news when it says the ACA remains controversial. President Obama and supporters of the law says it has helped decrease the percentage of Americans who are uninsured as an indicator of how successful the law has been. Republicans, true to their school of “oppose the president whenever and wherever possible”, continue to criticize it. “Throughout this controversy, Americans as a whole remain more negative than positive about the Affordable Care Act and its impact on their lives and the national healthcare situation. Views of the ACA, however, are modestly more positive than they were last fall,” Frank Newport at Gallup wrote.

So who’s wising up? Says Gallup: “Americans who are more likely to be affected by the ACA, including young people, lower-income groups and minorities, are at least slightly more likely than others to be positive about the impact of the ACA on their healthcare situations, although significant percentages of most of these groups still say the ACA has hurt them.”

 

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