There is no other way to get around the fact, the Affordable Care Act has fumbled the ball on the opening kickoff of this hard-fought and controversial new health reform law dubbed Obamacare. However, the game is not lost, and in fact through all the misfortune there are glimmers of success. So, What’s Next?
Americans are signing up for Obamacare.
While there have been extensive problems with HealthCare.gov, across the country people are using the Health Insurance Marketplace to get affordable health coverage.
- As of 8 October 2013, 9500 people had signed up in Washington State. (Washington Post Wonkblog 10/08/2013.)
- As of 8 October 2013, 40,000 people had signed up through the New York Exchanges. (New York State of Health)
- In California, after the first two weeks nearly 95,000 applications went through the state exchange marketplaces. (LA Times)
- In the State of Kentucky almost 10,000 people signed up in the first few days and the totals in that state are growing everyday.
With the Republicans licking their wounds from fighting this new health care reform law to the point of government shutdown this early fumbling by the HealthCare.gov website has given the Republicans something to grab hold of and try to say they told the American people Obamacare was a train wreck.
Even though, the mainstream media has taken advantage of this news-worthy situation what this writer sees being under reported is even thought the ball was fumbled on the opening kickoff the defense has held and now the ball is back in the proponents of Obamacare hands.
Due to the websites popularity, there have been nearly 20 million visits to the site in the first several weeks. As we have all heard the website has not run smoothly at all saying the site’s popularity has been the aggravating factor in the sites malfunctions. This is not an acceptable excuse but even in spite of those problems, thousands of Americans are currently signing up and saving money. Nearly half a million Americans have already applied for health insurance through the federal and state Marketplaces. It’s not hard to see why: Once people get through the door, they overwhelmingly like the benefits and cost of the products available to them — especially when compared with the discriminatory private market that was previously the only game in town.
Fix The Website!
The White House released this statement:
Some of the best and brightest are now doing everything they can to fix the site as quickly as possible. People are working overtime, 24/7, and we’ve brought in some of the best IT experts from across the country to join the team at the federal agency responsible for running the Marketplace.
And as President Obama said recently:
Nobody’s madder than me about the fact that the website isn’t working as well as it should, which means it’s going to get fixed.
The White House also offered alternative ways of enrolling :
It’s also important to remember that the website is not the only way to enroll. You can dial the call center at 1-800-318-2596 and apply directly over the phone. Typically, it takes about 25 minutes for an individual or about 45 for a family. You can also find local “navigators” who can help you enroll in person at LocalHelp.HealthCare.gov.
The President expresses to America and the hard-hitting Republicans that Obamacare is much more than a website. He is the first to admit that the website’s problems are unacceptable. But Obamacare is more than just a website. Most Americans already have health insurance through their employers, Medicare, or Medicaid, and they don’t need to go to the Marketplace for new coverage. Instead, the health care law provides new benefits and increased protection. Young people can stay on their parents’ insurance plans until they are 26, seniors are receiving more affordable prescription medicine, and preventive care like mammograms are free.’
It would be fair to say many people feel these ” glitches” will be ironed out. The opponents of Obamacare are of course going to try to see they don’t get fixed. In fairness, the people overseeing the website functions have some serious questions to answer. But, there is a sense that these issues can and will be worked out and then the biggest nightmare of all will be that not only is Obamacare needed it was worth fighting for and more and more people will start using these exchanges. From the White House:
Here are some of the things we’ve done in the meantime to make the process easier. Take a look, and pass this message along to those you know who are trying to sign up for health care:
- You can now preview plans and prices available in your area without filling out the online application.
- You can find out, with an improved calculator, whether your income and household size may qualify you for lower costs on your monthly premiums and out-of-pocket costs.
- You can apply for coverage 4 ways: by phone, online, by mail with a paper application, or with the help of an in-person assister.
Finally, in the 26 states now 27 with Ohio announcing they will join the majority of states and move forward with expanding the Ohio Medicaid program, as supported by the Affordable Care Act. Thanks to Obamacare, nearly 6 in 10 uninsured Americans will have access to health coverage for $100/month or less next year — and it could be even more if every state expanded Medicaid coverage like Ohio, ensuring all its residents can benefit from the security of quality health insurance.
Watch here to learn what Obamacare means to you:
About Liberal America author Johnny Hill
I am a stone cold political junkie. I come from the old school radio form of journalism broadcasting, commercial writing, sales writing , marketing, direct sales, Trade Shows and down in the trenches advertising sales. But my passion is writing. My focus is political and how politics do affect our lives and how if gone unchecked can dictate our lives. My quest is to provide valuable insights to the current event stories of our times while not forgetting the truism that “history does repeat itself”.