Obama to focus on positives of health care law
WASHINGTON — A day after his administration said healthcare.gov handled hundreds of thousands of visitors, President Barack Obama today will highlight people who have been helped by his health care reform law.
They’ll join the president at White House event. He’s also expected to charge that Republicans want to strip away benefits without offering an alternative.
Updated healthcare.gov gets mixed reviews
FORT LAUDERDALE — Consumers are reporting a mix of successes and failures as they try logging onto the updated healthcare.gov site.
Brokers and online assisters in Utah say three of every four people who want to sign up for coverage on the federal government’s online exchange are succeeding within an hour of logging in. Navigators in Wisconsin, Illinois, Alabama and North Dakota reported vast improvement, while staffers in South Florida and Iowa were stymied by glitches on the federal website, which is serving 36 states.
About 750,000 had visited the site by Monday night — about double the traffic for a typical Monday. By 10 a.m., with about 30,000 visitors and growing error messages and response times, federal health officials deployed a new queue system.http://chapelboro.com/news/national/healthcare-gov-update/
Raleigh – The failed launch of the Obamacare website is acting like gravity for the approval ratings of democrats in Washington D.C.
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Senator Kay Hagan’s approval ratings are changing, but Public Policy Polling Analyst Jim Williams says they’re not going the direction the Hagan administration would prefer.
“We had found Kay Hagan with a small, but consistent lead throughout most of this year,” Williams says, “We’re finding now that it’s really kind of crept into a statistical tie at this point.”
The poll shows Hagan in a dead heat with her prospective 2014 opponents; coming in no more than three points ahead of state House Speaker Tom Tillis, Heather Grant, and Rev. Mark Harris. And she’s trailing one point behind Greg Brannon.
So what’s the force behind the trend?
“That stems probably from the botched roll out of the Obamacare website,” says Williams.
The website has been a nightmare for the faces of the Democratic Party since healthcare.gov opened its marketplace for federal health insurance on October 1.
“Obama’s approval rating in September was 48 percent approve, 29 percent disapprove,” Williams says, “Now it’s down to 43 percent approve, 53 percent disapprove.”
Williams says North Carolinians have responded negatively to the health care plan they were already skeptical of in the first place.
“Obamacare has never been particularly popular in North Carolina, but now only 38 percent of voters say they approve of it, compared to 48 percent who disapprove,” Williams says.
“Even worse 69 percent of voters say its rollout has been unsuccessful so far.”
The 2014 senate election is still a year away. Williams says there’s a large group of undecided voters who could come to Hagan’s rescue.
“The race is sort of unformed as far as the senate race,” Williams says, “A lot of the folks who either are running or may run are not well-known to the voters yet; so that’s why you’re seeing high numbers of undecided voters.”
Senator Hagan originally supported the Affordable Care Act. But she announced Tuesday that she is asking for an investigation of the failed website launch.http://chapelboro.com/news/local-government/sen-hagan-approval-slipping-in-wake-of-obamacare-web-launch/
CHAPEL HILL – As the Obama administration is scrambling to fix major malfunctions in the online health care market place, efforts are being made here in Chapel Hill to help people sign up and avoid the confusion.
Sherry Hay, Director of Community Health Initiatives at UNC Family Medicine, has been helping to lead community events, such as phone banks and informational forums, to educate people about the Affordable Care Act.
Since its launch on Oct. 1, the HealthCare.Gov site, the online market place through which consumers can enroll in health care, has been plagued with problems.
President Barack Obama publicly acknowledged on Monday that the new health care law’s website hasn’t been functioning as it should, but he insisted that Americans should still register for Obamacare, despite the technical problems.
Hay said she alarmed about the misinformation circulating in the media.
“One of the most concerning things is [the notion] that there will be someone in Washington making a decision about their health care, in lieu of that decision being made with their primary care provider,” Hay said. “That is absolutely not correct information.”
At UNC Family Medicine, Hay said she and her team have been helping their patients enroll through the market place.
“So yes, it is frustrating. I understand that, but it is coverage that provides you access. Hopefully in the long term, you’ll see a quality increase and also see our costs go down.”
Hay said the Affordable Care Act is more than just the market place and that the program has many benefits.
“One is making prevention a reimbursable service for Medicare recipients. Prevention, particularly for our older population, for all of us is important. Those many things that the act covers are critical to our long-term health.”
In addition to the government website, applicants can enroll by phone or by mail.
People can call 1-800-318-2596, a line which is open 24/7. A representative will be available to walk consumers through the enrollment process.
Hay explained a new tool has been created on the website to outline which plans are available by state.
Obama pledged Monday to recruit the “best and the brightest” to rectify HealthCare.gov’s technical problems.
“Yes, there have been some problems, but the extent of the law is well worth sometimes what changes bring—which are a few bumps in the road.”
Local Health Care Exchanges Informational Events:
- The League of Women Voters is holding a community event Saturday at 10:00 a.m. in the Hillsborough Public Library.
- Get Covered America is holding an events nationwide as part of “Treat Yourself To Coverage.” Information sessions will be happening in the Triangle and across the state.http://chapelboro.com/news/health/some-warn-public-not-to-panic-over-obamacare-glitches/