By Jon Jen
Obamacare, one of the most controversial policies ever proposed that could completely reform our healthcare system, has been the subject of debates and disagreements time and time again. Recently, on October 1st, healthcare.gov was launched to help Americans in 36 states compare prices and enroll in health insurance. However, users immediately reported problems with the website, and most were unable to finish creating an account. Soon after, reports of policy cancellations, inefficient management, and numerous glitches surfaced, causing widespread criticism of the site. More than 1.5 million Americans have applied for coverage under Obamacare so far, but as of November 13th, less than one-tenth of them were able to enroll. Regarding healthcare.gov itself, only 26,000 people were successful. Additionally, Obama has previously promised that customers would be able to keep their health care providers and doctors if they chose to, but over 5 million Americans who were under policies that did not meet “required standards” have received notices claiming that their former plans were soon to be cancelled. However, President Obama recently told insurance companies that they don’t have to cancel plans made by the errors in the exchange in an effort to calm down the panic.
Despite this attempt to solve a part of the problem, President of America’s Health Insurance Plans, Karen Ignagni, claimed that “Changing the rules after health plans have already met the requirements of the law could destabilize the market and result in higher premiums”. With some calling for legislation change, Obama reminded people that in the end, the amount of people covered would still increase. The President has also acknowledged all of these healthcare difficulties by issuing an apology, and officials aim to fix the site by the end of November, a goal that most likely will not be reached. “We should have done a better job of getting this right on Day One…We did fumble the ball on it and one of the things I am going to do is make sure we get it fixed,” Obama said in an hour-long White House conference. House Speaker John Boener responded by saying that there was “no way to fix this”.
The President Obama’s approval ratings decreased significantly after this fiasco, and as of now, it remains at 39%, according to a Quinnipiac poll. Democrats will most likely lose popular support if this gets out of hand, which is bad news for them since the 2014 elections are looming up. Democratic Representative of Manhattan Charles Ragnel said that, “If I had the problem, saying you’re sorry doesn’t help me worth a damn at the polls, unless I can staple your remarks to the ballot.” But the good news is that none of this really matters if you already have insurance like 85% of Americans. Nonetheless, these problems will still plague millions who are uninsured, and will forever leave a dark mark on the President who once promised an honest and trustworthy administration.