“My head is spinning hearing the new issues crop up with ObamaCare everyday. Will they cover my dizziness?”
The superstitious might call it a jinx and a website programmer might dismiss it as a routine connectivity issue, but the fact is that the ObamaCare website seems to be keeping the Republicans on their toes everyday (not that they would complain), giving them opportunities to point their fingers at The President and the ‘staggering incompetence” of the website, as they say.
The Roller Coaster Ride Continues
In another unfortunate turn of events, the website’s data center had to shut down due to connectivity issues. The role of the data center was to verify the personal details of the applicants and this failed. Though the accountability of this specific function lay with Terremark, Verizone and they are working to fix it at the earliest, this is perceived as yet another incompetence of the government.
How to all started:
The Health Care reforms in the US have had a long history. There have been several Health Care reforms in the US that have been proposed in the past, however very few have been accomplished. And even if accomplished, they have either not had far reaching benefits or have been only partially beneficial. However,in 2010, a transformation in the US Health Care took place when the Obama Health Care Plan Act was signed. This Act was presented as the new Health Care Bill and is officially known as ‘The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act 2010’ (PPACA) also known as ‘ObamaCare’. This bill was signed by President Barack Obama to reform the healthcare industry on 23rd March’ 2010. The bill had far reaching effects.
And this is what The President wished for:
The primary aim of the bill was to transform the Health Industry in the US so that citizens would benefit hugely. Its goal was to reduce any unnecessary spends on health care. President Obama wanted health care to be affordable for everyone. Before the Obama Health Care Plan was launched, many middle and low income groups in America had little access to healthcare for themselves and their families due to their inability to afford it
The main goal of this plan was to be able to reach the majority of the population. It aimed to benefit millions of Americans so they could afford a higher quality of life despite their low incomes. The aim was to have insurance for everyone, irrespective of their incomes. The bill was enacted to grant more rights to people who had hitherto struggled with health insurances. This health care reform has changed the way health care and insurance work.
With more opportunity comes more opportunists-The Republicans have their say
The love-hate relation between the Republicans and Obama (Care) does not seem to be ending and is going stronger by the day!
Lke any other reform, the Obama Health Care Plan had some issues. Since its online launch in October 2010, the $394 million Obama Health Insurance website has faced many technical glitches preventing people from easily applying for the insurance. It was very distressing for many people who were trying to register. There were many systemic issues with www.healthcare.gov. The loading speed was very slow and the volume of applications high. Anxiety about the website’s problems was felt among the President’s party. This unanticipated issue even led to President Obama and his team contemplating extending the insurance enrollment window beyond the current 31st March 2014 deadline.
The Republicans left no stone unturned to dismantle the website claiming these problems just the ‘tip of the iceberg’ and have expressed an interest to defund Obama. They have also demanded the resignation of the Health and Human services secretary Kathleen Sebelius, who is now scheduled to appear before the panel of House Energy and Commerce committee.
They argue that despite The President saying an individual can retail the health care policy he prefers, he will be forced to purchase the more expensive ObamaCare policies. They say about six million of the 19 million people will pay more while three million will lose their insurance.
However, in spite of all these issues, nearly 700,000 people have visited the site already and applied for coverage, indicating the success of ObamaCare. A survey conducted showed that 43% of Americans approve of the health care law compared to 35%, which was the figure indicated by older surveys.
Critics question if all of the 700,000 people who applied would actually make the purchase, because many of them are covered under the Medicaid, which is exclusively for low-income groups. Moreover, The President’s office not giving out any figures on how many enrollments the website received has caused the critics to question the economic feasibility of the program. The Department of Health and Human Services however has announced it would be release the enrollment figures only by November.
What added fuel to the fire was while www.healthcare.gov crashed, many websites launched by the other states seemed to do well.
Will a stitch in time save nine this time?
The government is working hard to rectify issues and get the website up again. Jeffery Zients, a former economic adviser of the President, will be spearheading the work to make it completely functional by the end of November 2013. Technicians are working 24×7 to boost the website’s capacity and address these issues. Insurance can be purchased using alternate methods such as over the phone, through mail or in person. The steps taken are a lot more, but the common man would be more interested in seeing the end result and signing up for the insurance.
What will happen once the website is fully functional remains to be seen!