Obamacare is worth the wait


Graphic by Emily Lodahl.

Kelly Roehrig

Error 404, page could not load. Sadly, this message is all too common for those in search of a solution to their lack of healthcare through the federally mandated Affordable Care Act, more commonly known as Obamacare. Since its debut on October 1, the Obamacare website, healthcare.gov, has been experiencing nothing but problems, causing many to question the necessity of this legislation. However, despite technical and logistical issues to do with the rollout of Obamacare, universal healthcare will help the health of the American people, while granting those who do not have any, the care they need to survive.

Technical issues, such as the entire website crashing by midnight of its first day live and being blocked out before they successfully sign up, have been in the forefront of the many problems with Obamacare implementation. With several different website contractors, including CGI, Serco, and Equifax, that were federally selected, all working on the same website with non compatible codes and systems, this was bound to happen.

However, the website is not the only problem, according to Steven Cohen of HuffPolitics Blog, due to the fact that “the Affordable Care Act is an example of an overly complex, difficult-to-implement piece of legislation, the complex interconnected program design requires everything to work right for funding projections to add up.”

The moment the website failed its prelaunch test, despite its $300 million price tag, the installment should have been delayed. President Obama should have waited to work out every possible problem before its rollout, not after.

Of the 48 million in need of care, only 500,000 people have successfully logged on and received care. With the January 1 deadline approaching fast, those without healthcare will face penalties and fines if these problems are not sorted out.

Even though President Obama and other White House staff have been assuring the American public that, “the insurance exchange will work smoothly for the vast majority of Americans by Nov. 30,” this is unlikely to happen. With two hundred thousand to three hundred thousand people working on the website miscommunication is inevitable. If the Obama Administration plans to make healthcare available by 2014 they need to size down their team and focus on the quality not quantity of its workers.

The implementation of Obamacare, albeit complicated, is worth the struggle.

According to Obamacarefacts.com, there are plenty of benefits to go around. Including preventing anyone from receiving health care based on any pre-existing conditions, no annual or lifetime limits to health care, and the ability for anyone under the age of 26 to remain on their parents health care. Not to mention it would shorten the average wait time at the Emergency Room.

Those who oppose Obamacare as a whole, mostly Conservatives, have been using rollout difficulties as an indicator for the success of the legislation. An insurance executive that was a part of many conference calls regarding Obamacare claimed that, “These are not glitches. The extent of the problems is pretty enormous. At the end of our calls, people say, ‘It’s awful, just awful,’” in the New York Times. However, they fail to recognize that all legislations of this size have rollout problems, for example the rollout of President Bush’s Medicaid Part D was riddled with problems, yet it is currently well received. The amount of problems in the rollout does not determine the success of the legislation.

Granted, the problems going on with the rollout of Obamacare are numerous and in an ideal world needed to be fixed before Oct. 1, it was only a matter of time with such legislation. It is time to realize that yes, the website is flawed, but the legislation is not, Obamacare will benefit the American public in more ways than the website can malfunction.