Affordable Care Act deadline looming, many still without coverage

Affordable Care Act deadline is around the corner and many East Tennesseans are without coverage.

President Barack Obama gestures while speaking in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, Monday, Oct. 21, 2013, on the initial rollout of the health care overhaul. Obama acknowledged that the widespread problems with his health care law's rollout are unacceptable, as the administration scrambles to fix the cascade of computer issues. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT)- With the Affordable Care Act deadline less than 3 weeks away, many in East Tennessee are still without health insurance.

Local 8 News ventured out to ask people what they thought of the new marketplace health care.

Nearly half didn't know what the ACA was, which poses a big issue if they're supposed to sign up for it in less than a month.

One group in Knoxville recognizes that struggle and is trying to do something about it.

"There's a lot of controversy in the news so I think people are confused about it," said City of Knoxville Mayor, Madeline Rogero.

March 31st is the last day to enroll, or face the fines.

But, out of the Tennesseans who are still uninsured, 7 percent of them are right here in Knox County.

Organizing for Action is one group that's canvassing the community to educate people on their options.

"There are a lot of people that are trying to make this thing fail," said J.P. Thomson, a volunteer.

Tuesday, the mayor made several stops to encourage people to enroll.

"It's very important that people get health care coverage and there really are affordable options for people out there," she said.

Some people, like Steve Foster, know their options and still don't like the idea of the ACA.

"The fact that it gets rid of pre-existing conditions problems is the only good thing I can see out of it, so, the other 2,099 pages are a bunch of garbage."

Foster already has a form of health insurance but feels there are better options than the ACA for the uninsured.

The mayor says they will hold several enrollment events to get people signed up.

They are:

Mount Calvary Baptist Church
Saturday, March 15, 29, 10a.m. to 2p.m.

South Knox Community Center
March 19, 2014 3p.m. to 7 p.m.

Cherokee Health Systems Locations
March 31st, 3p.m-8p.m.

Blount County Library
Every Saturday and Sunday 1p.m.-5p.m.

Roane State Community College
Lenoir City, March 11, 12, 3p.m. to 7 p.m.

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