Mass surge to sign up for Obamacare

2014-04-01 10:29
Posters about Obamacare are posted on a window during a healthcare enrollment fair at the Bay Area Rescue Mission in Richmond, California. (Justin Sullivan, AFP)

Posters about Obamacare are posted on a window during a healthcare enrollment fair at the Bay Area Rescue Mission in Richmond, California. (Justin Sullivan, AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

kalahari.com

  • The Amateur
    A gripping read that reveals never before published details about the Obama administration's... Now R321.00
    buy now
Washington - Hundreds of thousands of Americans rushed to buy President Barack Obama's new health insurance plans on Monday, prompting a victory lap from a White House that paid a steep political price for its greatest achievement.

The scramble to sign up under Obama's health care law at the end of a six-month enrolment window caused website glitches and long lines at on-the-spot enrolment centres.

But Republicans renewed a vow to repeal the law, which they say costs jobs, handcuffs small businesses and represents a government power grab in the private health care market.

The Health Insurance Marketplace was preparing to close on a record breaking day of operations - with more than 3 million visits to HealthCare.gov and more than 1 million calls to the call centre as of 20:00 (0000 GMT), a US official said.

It remained unclear, however, how many of those people went through the whole process of securing Affordable Care Act insurance plans.

"I signed the #ACA so millions could know the peace of mind that comes with health insurance," Obama wrote in a tweet.

‘Huge surge day’

In a rare moment of triumph in Obama's so far grim second term, senior White House officials saw the deadline day rush as vindication after the disastrous rollout of the health care website late last year.

"There has been a remarkable story since the dark days of October and November," said White House spokesperson Jay Carney.

Officials said a problem with the Healthcare.gov website stopped people from establishing new accounts several times.

But Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius nevertheless hailed the "huge surge day" in an interview with HuffPost Live.

It will be months, however, before the long-term success of Obamacare in broadening access and making medical insurance affordable can be assessed, and the law remains a political albatross for the president and fellow Democrats.

The law demands that all Americans have health insurance or pay a fine, but offers subsidies for the less well-off to sign up.

The White House said that the final enrolment figures for the first year would be substantially higher than the six million figure already recorded. Officials had earlier set seven million enrolments as the standard for success.

The health care law is Obama's signature domestic political achievement and the most sweeping social reform in decades in the United States.

Yet its passage and implementation ignited a partisan battle and highlighted deep ideological divisions cleaving the United States.

'Cooking the books'

Republicans, however, are rubbishing administration claims, warning that the new law is crippling small business owners and costing jobs.

"I think they're cooking the books," Republican Senator John Barrasso told "Fox News Sunday".

Republican House Speaker John Boehner warned "the problem was never just about the website - it's the whole law".

"Millions of Americans are seeing their premiums rise, not the lower prices the president promised," he added, renewing his vow to repeal the law.

Objective judgments on Obamacare are hindered by a lack of detail in enrolment figures offered by the administration.

It is unknown how many young people have signed up - an important indicator since they are needed to subsidise higher costs of older, sicker patients.

If Obamacare pools skew too old, the cost of premiums could rise next year.

Also unclear is whether everyone who registered for a health plan actually paid for it.

Another unknown is what percentage of those signing up had no prior coverage - a key metric in assessing if the law helped 40 million Americans who lack insurance.

Last-minute push

Vice President Joe Biden visited a "one stop" sign-up centre in Washington, and told people waiting to enrol that although the process was complicated, it was worth it.

"You are going to be better off for it. The country is going to be better off for it," Biden said.

As a whole, the health care law remains unpopular: a recent Pew Research poll found that 41% approved of it and 53% opposed it.

The partisan breakdown of the poll tells the political story – 8% of Republicans supported the law, compared to 72% of Democrats.

The health care row has helped send Obama's approval ratings to record lows and Democrats battling to cling on to Senate seats in conservative states are struggling to shrug off the backlash.

Read more on:    barack obama  |  us  |  us healthcare
NEXT ON NEWS24X

SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
19 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/News
 
Traffic
Lottery
 
  • Monday Kuils River - 17:34 PM
    Road name: Polkadraai Road Eastbound
    ROADWORKS between the R102 Van Riebeeck Road and the R310 Baden Powell Drive exit
  • Sunday Parow - 08:10 AM
    Road name: Mike Pienaar Boulevard
    WEEKENDS - ROAD CLOSED between Voortrekker Road and Tienie Meyer Drive due to roadworks (until end July)
 
More traffic reports...
 

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

2 TV Series for R250

Get 2 TV Series box sets for R250 and save up to R148! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Mind blowing deals on beauty & fragrances

Save up to 30% off beauty and fragrances. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 50% off hair care products!

Save up to 50% on professional hair care products at kalahari.com. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

30% off academic books

Score a mind blowing 30% off academic books! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Mind blowing deals on electronics!

Save up to 35% on electronics. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Samsung Galaxy S III 16GB

There are no straight lines in nature. The Samsung  GALAXY...

From R3795.00

I'm shopping for:

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

Something may come up to alert you of your security needs. It may be that you need to create a better structure for your finances...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.