The Affordable Care Act is moving forward, despite a shaky beginning of website glitches and ongoing criticism.
As of March 27, the White House tallied more than six million people registered. Six million is the new target figure after the administration rolled out a technological nightmare, expecting its underperforming databasesto support agencies, insurance companies and clients in real-time.
The ultimate glitch came when applicantswere required to enter their personal information, such as residence and income before searching for insurance coverage. The site, HealthCare.gov, was launched in October of last year with a target of seven million people.
On March 26 alone, the White House reported well over a million site visits and over 430,000 calls. Total enrollment numbers will be clear in April because the deadlineof March 31 has been extended. Further enrollee counts will depend on how many people actually pay for plans.
The surge of enrollees surpassed the administration’s March projection of 1.2 million by 600,000 people, but much about how the Affordable Care Act will play out is unknown. Intricate details surrounding its potential success include the balance of healthy and unhealthy people in the program are unknown.
Obamacare still falls short of many health care plans from around the world. In places like Australia, health care is extensive and includes home visits by doctors to remote locations.
Opponents say the target of six million is not a benchmark for measuring the Act’s success and there will still be an estimated 30 millionuninsured Americans dipping into the federal government’s pocket. Conservatives claim many of them will be unhealthy, adding more costs. Crucial to the results are the number of people in federal exchanges who will pay for plans.
Still, individual states and union affiliates are making strides. In California, more young people and Latinos are joining. The Service Employees International Union has reserved millionsfor the push to enroll. Enrollees in Houston, Texas, jumped by 40 percent earlier in March.
Democrats refine health care program
Although officials are reporting people are more confident about the historic Affordable Care Act, Democratic senators have designed a packageto refine it. They added cheaper plans, more opportunities for insurance co-ops, regional and multi-state plans, employer reporting requirements and an exemption for small businesses.