While Republicans are up in arms here recently over the problems HealthCare.gov has been experiencing, I can’t help but want to scream at the top of my lungs, “Just get the damn thing fixed so they’ll shut up and we can move on.”
Though I know Republicans will never shut up about the Affordable Care Act.
But even knowing that fact, I’m simply sick of seeing this right-wing circus that’s been going on these last few weeks over the issues the website has experienced. Have you watched these “hearings?” What an absolute joke. They’re not hearings, they’re campaign ads for these candidates next November. It’s Republicans using it as a public platform to take jabs at the healthcare law while it’s down because they know once the website is completely fixed, they’re not going to have a damn thing to say about it.
Because the truth is, a year from now, the only people who are even going to care about the issues the website had at the beginning are Republicans.
Anyone who thought this rollout was going to go smoothly was lying to themselves. Granted, the issues the website has encountered are unacceptable and completely embarrassing. I’m making absolutely no excuses for them. As someone who’s been an ardent supporter of the Affordable Care Act since the beginning, I’m completely embarrassed by this whole process.
However, in the back of my mind I know that once these issues get worked out with the website, and some time passes, no one is really going to care about what happened when the website first launched.
But the healthcare law is facing another obstacle a lot of people seem to be overlooking — the fear of change.
Even when people hope for change, it can still be scary. People who absolutely loathe their jobs are fearful of switching. Even if that change might be into a job they love. Though I know that not all humans fear change, many still do — and it’s completely normal.
And as “Obamacare” has rolled out we’ve seen that resistance to change, as some people are upset that they won’t be able to keep their same health plans. Granted, President Obama said they would be able to, so that’s on him. What he should have said to people was that they would only be allowed to keep their old plans if those plans met the new standards set by the Affordable Care Act. And unfortunately for some Americans, their current healthcare plans just didn’t meet those standards.
Now, I’m not going to get into the semantics of the rate of premiums. There are plenty of examples by both sides citing people who are paying less for health insurance and some who are paying more.
Though as some people resist this change, I can’t help but think of the iPhone. Wait, bear with me on this.
Apple and its iPhone are polarizing entities. I have an iPhone so trust me, I’m well aware of the good and bad of Apple. I’m also well aware of how loyal some people are to Apple. But as the summer rolls around, headed towards fall, every year Apple announces their new iPhone and newest version of iOS. And almost every year the vast majority of people love what they produce. But there’s inevitably a minority section of Apple people who absolutely hate whatever changes Apple made to its iPhone or iOS.
Hell, I remember “antenna-gate” with the iPhone 4. I’m sure many of you remember, the “grip of doom” that caused the phone to lose signal and drop calls if it was held a certain way. It was all you heard about on tech blogs and many news outlets for weeks. Heck, Apple had to issue free “bumpers” (rubberized cases that went around the edge of the iPhone) for a limited time just to appease some of their customers.
But guess what? Millions upon millions of people still purchased the iPhone 4. It shattered previous iPhone records. And a year later, when Apple released the iPhone 4s, you know what happened? Millions of people bought that new iPhone and it too shattered sales records. A year after “antenna-gate” you rarely heard it mentioned by anyone, nor did anyone really care.
The fact was, the “issue” got resolved. The company moved on, the people moved on and they realized what they had was one of the best cell phones on the planet.
Did the issues the iPhone 4 experienced upon its launch mean that it was a failure? Absolutely not. It was a true embarrassment for Apple, no doubt, but the iPhone 4’s issues were fixed and it went on to be an extremely successful product.
I truly believe that’s what we’re seeing with the Affordable Care Act. “Obamacare” is something new and many people are going to resist change. Even if the healthcare plans they’re going to have to purchase now are much better than what they currently have—it’s different, and people don’t like change. Especially as it relates to healthcare coverage.
But I really believe a year from now, long after the website issues have been fixed, no one besides Republicans are even going to care about this disastrous rollout.
And I firmly believe the website will be fixed soon. I also believe most of those who are resisting change will adapt and realize it wasn’t as bad as they thought.
We just have to get through those hurdles. But until we do, Republicans are going to make sure to pounce on every opportunity they can to attack the Affordable Care Act. However, they better enjoy this while it lasts. A year from now when they’re still beating this drum, long after the website has been fixed, most Americans simply aren’t going to care.