by: Liz Artz Updated:
DEKALB COUNTY - Dozens of Affordable Care Act supporters rallied at the Gwinnett County Courthouse Thursday to pass out literature, answer questions about signing up, hear testimonials from those who say they could be helped by it and to find out the best way to sign up.
People wanting to go on the insurance plan and who qualify were able to start signing up October 1, and as long as they get registered online by Dec. 15, their insurance will take effect Jan. 1, 2014.
Channel 2's Liz Artz was at the rally and talked with several people who were interested in getting what has been dubbed "Obamacare."
Iliana Gallardo, 50, said she had worked as a health care assistant her entire life and had benefits from work, but was laid off a year ago. She had just started driving a cab to make money to pay the bills when she was attacked by a customer and nearly killed. She said the cab company did not provide medical benefits and she had only been with the company less than two weeks. She has had trouble getting the medical care she needs and cannot afford further testing for brain damage she said she sustained.
Artz also spoke with several small-business owners who hope they qualify. They said self-insuring would cost them three times what it would be to use the Affordable Care Act insurance.
Thousands of people have experienced issues with the computer system while trying to sign up. Independent agents said the glitches should be ironed out in the next two weeks and to try back next month. A policy professor told the crowd over 800,000 Georgia residents will benefit from the Affordable Care Act. She said there are more than four million Georgians with pre-existing conditions that won't have to worry about that being a consideration when getting health insurance.
There were two protesters at the rally who stood by quietly holding signs of opposition.