Healthcare.gov glitches not the end of Affordable Care Act

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It’s undeniable that healthcare.gov is having its fair share of problems.

Since its launch on Oct. 1, the website where people go to sign up for the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, has been preventing users from creating accounts and users have gotten error messages on completed applications. As a result, many people are just unable to sign up.

The website’s problems have given Republicans more fuel for their disdain for Obamacare, and many are claiming the website’s failure is proof the Affordable Care Act will never work.

But as President Barack Obama said on Oct. 21, “The Affordable Care Act is not just a website. It’s much more.”

What we should be focusing on is what the Affordable Care Act actually is.

Many people are having trouble signing up, and that should have been something the Obama administration had foreseen and fixed before healthcare.gov launched.

However, they are making strides in making sure the website is fixed and have said it will work by the end of November.

And, Americans now have an extra six weeks to purchase their health coverage, as the Obama administration has extended the deadline to get health insurance until March 31.

These glitches definitely don’t mean the Affordable Care Act is doomed like the GOP has proclaimed.

And that’s really all the GOP has been doing.

Instead of helping the Obama administration find a solution to healthcare.gov’s problems, the GOP has instead pointed their fingers and laughed.

Apparently they’ve forgotten the troubles they faced in 2005 with Medicare Part D.

Medicare Part D, a product of the George W. Bush administration, was supposed to launch in October 2005, but was put on hold. A month later, it was discovered the planned comparison-shopping website still wasn’t completed.

While all of this was going on, the Democrats didn’t shut down the government and claim Part D was doomed. They instead made sure citizens were informed about how to use the site once it was done and tried to help fix the mess.

Let’s instead remember that the Affordable Care Act will be able to provide people with insurance who have never been eligible for health insurance.

Insurance companies can no longer refuse to cover people and can’t force them to pay extra because of pre-existing conditions.

Young people can stay on their parents’ health insurance until they are 26 years old, which can allow college graduates to choose a job based on how much they like it, not what the benefits package is.

Speaker of the House John Boehner likes to claim that with Obamacare, we will see the end of the full-time job, and that it will be the death of small business. He claimed employers will no longer be able to afford to hire people full-time because they cannot afford to provide health coverage.

Since Obamacare was signed three years ago, part-time workers have increased by just 2 percent, according to Federal Reserve Economic Data, the research division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.

In his Oct. 14 column in The New Yorker, “The Business End of Obamacare,” James Surowiecki wrote that the Affordable Care Act actually makes it easier for people to start up their own companies. Typically, he said, starting a business is risky especially when you might not be able to find affordable health insurance. “One recent study projects that Obamacare could enable 1.5 million people to become self-employed,” he said in the column.

The fact the website is struggling does not mean these things are no longer possible. The Obama administration just needs some time to work out the kinks.