After weeks of problems preventing Americans from being able to buy health insurance via the Affordable Care Act website, President Obama gave a speech at the White House today and acknowledged that his landmark healthcare legislation's tech issues are unacceptable. But he made sure to stress two things: 1. that the healthcare to be purchased through the A.C.A. is still a strong product, and 2. that the buggy system is a temporary setback. The question now is how much longer people's patience will last.
The president said that there is "no sugarcoating" the failings of healthcare.gov, which the New York Times reports may need as many as 5 million lines of code to be rewritten. He quickly added, however, that the administration is working overtime with technology experts from the private sector to remedy the issues as soon as possible."Nobody is madder than me about the fact that the website is not working as well as it should," he said, "which means it's gonna get fixed."
The president also made sure to hammer home throughout his statements that when people have been able to purchase healthcare with the A.C.A. marketplace, they've often been satisfied with the results. "The product is good. The healthcare that is being provided is good. It's high quality and it's affordable," he said.
Obama gave no exact timeline for when the site will be in proper working order, but it needs to be sooner rather than later. For the A.C.A. marketplace to work, healthy young people need to be buying into the system in order to help offset the costs of sicker older people. And as the administration surely knows, healthy young people are not going to be the ones sitting around day after day attempting to navigate a failing website dozens of times—old people with preexisting conditions are, and that could tilt the scale in a very bad way for the marketplace.
In order to help bolster the A.C.A. while the website is repaired, Obama pointed out that Americans can still shop for A.C.A. healthcare coverage in person or by phone. Mia Farrow lent a helping hand:
If you prefer to deal with a person- you can apply for Affordable Healthcare on the phone 1-800- 318-2596— mia farrow (@MiaFarrow) October 21, 2013