Patience with Obamacare

The computer problems on the federal website for the Affordable Care Act are serious almost two months from the registration deadline for millions of program beneficiaries. By mid-November, when the highest traffic is expected, these issues must be resolved.

The technical difficulties in the registry’s launch have been seized upon by critics of Obamacare, like the Republican members of Congress who voted 40 times to take action against the law. They have continued their battle against healthcare reform by declaring at every opportunity that the program has “already proven” to be a failure. This determination is difficult to make seriously when the problem is still in its early stages and has had no impact more significant than bad publicity.

Critics also ignore the fact that dozens of provisions have already taken effect, expanding Americans’ protections against insurance companies and health coverage for many young adults.

At the same time, Obamacare’s rabid opposition shares the ideological viewpoint held by opponents of Social Security and Medicare in their time. It is a phobia that has less to do with the specifics of the law than its concept. And they are still predicting the failure of those social programs despite their proven success over the years.

Actually, the scandal is not the faulty technology, but rather the fact that there are states, like Florida and Texas, that remain obstinate in denying medical coverage to millions because they do not want to take part in the federal initiative. Those governors are failing in their responsibility to contribute to their people’s welfare by rejecting the possibility of medical coverage.

Meanwhile, those who can benefit from Obamacare should not be discouraged by the technical failures or the political exaggeration. More than 46,000 applications were filed in California, and nearly one million people visited the Covered California website in the first five days. There is no need to wait until the last minute to be well informed.

This is just the beginning, although the positive impact of the law that will not be fully implemented until 2015 has been felt since 2010. The overall balance is positive, but, to get off to a good start, the technological problems must be resolved as quickly as possible.