As anticipated by the White House, the month of October saw a low enrollment in President Obama’s health insurance coverage – Obamacare. The registration website healthcare.gov which was used to sign citizens up for the Obamacare program in 36 states was infected with multiple technical failures, contracting the number of signups for the month.
What do the numbers say?
According to the US Department of Health and Human Services , a total of one million citizens have gone through with the proceedings to check if they were eligible for the government subsidized health insurance. A majority still remain to decide on a plan under the insurance program, but are expected to sign up by the end of March, when the enrollment is supposed to end.
October saw the enrollment of around 106,000 people across the country. Experts suggest that the number of October sign ups reflect citizens who decided on their new insurance plan and are left to pay the premiums. The number of people who signed up for the health insurance plans through the government website comes up to 26,794. additionally, another 79,391 people signed up for the private health insurance plans through marketplaces hosted by their sates.
The HSS found 396,261 citizens eligible for the federal Medicaid program and the Children ‘s Health Insurance program for the poor.
Can it become a political liability?
Democrats in House of Representatives have placed several demands on the White House including an urge to speed up the process of helping people who are losing their current policies which are being canceled automatically . They have also asked the government to bring up the fixed website before the end of November.
Democrats fear that the low rate of rollout may end up becoming a big liability during the impending mid term elections of 2014. They held a meeting with concerned officials from the administration on the 6 November for over an hour and asked President Obama to announce a fix for the cancellation of current insurance policies of citizens.
A Republican bill that would enable people to continue with their current insurance policies is set to be put up for vote. Democrats want Obama to announce a fix before the bill is put up for vote and have urged their members to vote against the bill calling it a misguided attempt by the Republicans to repeal president Obama’s biggest achievement in domestic policies – the Obamacare.
The president had repeatedly maintained that people who were happy with their current health insurances could keep it even after the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 came into effect starting 1 October, 2013.