The glitch-filled rollout of Obamacare is inexcusable, and no one should know that better than President Barack Obama. After all, it was he who told us what an urgent problem lack of affordable health care is.
The hopes he raised, and the anxieties the new law’s opponents have stoked, combined to make the launch a momentous occasion. It is right the president ate crow about it; let’s hope he can follow through on his pledge to get things right.
Meanwhile, as Washington Editor Brian Francisco reported last week, local counselors are advising those who want to sign up now to do so by phone.
Angie Zaegel, vice president and chief operating officer of Neighborhood Health Clinics, told Francisco that those trying to register on the federal website are being asked to provide an email address for follow-up. Obviously, some of the low-income applicants don’t have computers and Internet access at home.
A Wall Street Journal reporter found telephone inquiries were going through within the one-minute wait time the president had specified. The number is 800-318-2596.
An even better alternative might be to wait a few weeks to apply for insurance. The new plans don’t go into effect until Jan. 1.
And amid the hysteria, it bears re-emphasizing that most Americans – perhaps 85 percent – aren’t directly affected by the new law. If you’re covered by a workplace health plan, or if you have Medicaid or Medicare, you don’t need to do anything.