A stumbling start to the online health insurance marketplace yesterday didn’t deter those helping people enroll for insurance from predicting that the process will work smoothly in coming days.
The primary way to access the federally operated marketplace – the website healthcare.gov – was inaccessible for much of the day, overwhelmed by the large-scale interest in the site. Federal officials said the problems weren’t related to the shutdown of the federal government that began yesterday.
Some people bypassed the website and instead reached out to local healthcare nonprofits yesterday, asking for help understanding the enrollment process. Officials with these organizations said they were taking down contact information and would be scheduling appointments to help residents enroll in the coming days, when they expect the site to be working more smoothly.
Republican members of Congress have proposed that short-term federal spending be linked to a one-year delay in the insurance marketplace and other provisions of the 2010 Afforable Care Act, including a mandate that individuals purchase insurance.
However, President Barack Obama and congressional Democrats have rejected linking spending with the healthcare law.
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