Yes, People Are Enrolling In Obamacare
Obamacare enrollment has been open for nearly three days now, and the initial interest has been staggering. Millions of people have checked out the health exchange websites, both for the federal exchange at healthcare.gov, and the state exchanges. And while it’s no surprise that opponents of the law are quick to claim that glitches and wait times associated with the demand indicate some kind of failure, the truth is plain: people want to learn more about the law, and people are signing up.
Over at Think Progress, Tara Culp-Ressler has a round-up of five people who have successfully signed up for Obamacare online:
Leslie Foster from California: 28-year-old Foster enrolled in California’s state-run exchange on Tuesday night, when traffic was a little slower and the site worked better. He told the Wall Street Journal that he settled on his choice on Wednesday morning. Foster is eligible for federal subsidies and will only end up paying about $62 each month for his new insurance plan. “It’s a great deal,” he said. He noted that people on other places have been experiencing more glitches, and said he’s glad that his state embraced health reform. “I’m grateful for being in California. They were definitely ahead of the ball,” he said.
Chad Henderson from Georgia: 21-year-old Henderson successfully enrolled in his state’s federally-run exchange early Tuesday morning. He told Wonkblog that he wanted to be one of the first people to sign up for Obamacare because he had read a few articles that said young people would be critical to the health law’s success, and “really just wanted to do my part to help out with the entire process.” He did experience delays with the HealthCare.gov site, and waited about three hours before he could create an account. But he said it was “pretty smooth sailing” from there, and enrolled in a plan with a $175 monthly premium.
Bill Henderson from Georgia: Chad Henderson’s father, Bill, also enrolled in Georgia’s exchange on Tuesday morning. In an interview with the Huffington Post, the younger Henderson said his dad has been uninsured for years, remarking, “I can’t remember a time when my dad has gone to the doctor. He’s just sucked it up.” The two enrolled in separate plans even though Obamacare allows Chad to remain on Bill’s plan until he turns 26. Chad said his father wanted him to take responsibility for his own insurance plan.
Kathy Kanak from Illinois: On Wednesday evening, Kanak tweeted that she had successfully enrolled in a plan on her state’s partnership exchange. Illinois worked with the federal government to set up its insurance marketplace, so Kanak used the federal HealthCare.gov site to enroll. “Success at Healthcare.gov! I’m enrolled!” she tweeted around 6:50 pm on Wednesday, adding, “Just took patience. Works great once you are in. People at phone center answered right away and were so nice!”
Leslie Peters from Rhode Island: Peters, who has been uninsured for five years due to her pre-existing conditions, was one of the first people to enroll on Rhode Island’s state-run exchange. She said she was “chompin’ at the bit” to sign up, and was surprised at how easy it ended up being. Peters didn’t encounter website glitches and completed the process in about 15 minutes. “It feels great to know I will soon have insurance and not have to worry about this anymore,” she told Kaiser Health News. “Not having insurance is something I worried about all the time.”
BOTTOM LINE: Republicans fear the successful implementation of Obamacare so much that they are willing to shut down the government over it. But even the government shutdown can’t stop the enrollment process and can’t stop people from getting affordable health care coverage. Obamacare is here to stay.
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