Obamacare 'sign-ups' have reached a key milestone as the deadline for the new health insurance law expires at midnight tonight. More than six million Americans have now enrolled in the new medical plans, according to a March 31 Washington Post report. However, problems for the internet portal of the U.S. health care reform, which had a disastrous opening in October, struck again today, delaying the registration of last minute applicants.
As mentioned above, the deadline for enrollment in the new health insurance created by the Affordable Care Act and promulgated by President Barack Obama in 2010, expires at midnight tonight .
The law stipulates that all adults should have some kind of health insurance, and provides subsidies for people with low incomes. Those who fail to enroll in Obamacare and remain without health insurance after March 31 could face fines.
This morning the federal HealthCare.gov website showed messages indicating "closed for maintenance" and indicated to interested parties that they should try again later.
As often happens with many processes such as this, people wait until the last minute and this morning HealthCare.gov also included messages explaining that the phone system was experiencing problems due to a high number of calls.
At about eight o'clock, however, the Obamacare website began to function normally, and the government hopes that by midnight the high volume of Obamacare 'sign-ups' will continue.
The Obama administration has already granted an extension that protects people who have taken steps but could not finish the enrollment process before midnight on March 31, if they can prove they have tried.
This week the Government announced that it will extend the deadline for the new health insurance contract beyond March 31 in some specific cases and in view of the increased demand, which has led to harsh criticism from Republicans.
The purpose of this extension of the Obamacare 'sign-ups' is to "help" consumers who have already begun the paperwork to complete the process after that date, either through the Internet or by telephone, according to the Department of Health.
Obamacare, the health reform law backed by President Barack Obama and enacted in 2010, is considered the crowning achievement of Obama's term in national politics, although the application of some of the main rules have been numerous and it has suffered repeated postponements.
The Government intends to issue guidance clarifying "the limited number of situations" in which a person can benefit from the extension of the registration period. Republicans, already highly critical of the Obama health reform, argue that the extension of the period to buy new medical insurance is another example of the failure of the law and highlights the need to eliminate it.
Do you believe the extension for certain Obamacare 'sign-ups' is fair? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.