There is a surge in the number of people trying to sign up for health insurance under America’s Affordable Healthcare Act before the March 31 deadline.
The controversial bill, known as Obamacare, means everyone in the US will have to have health insurance and there will be benefits for those who cannot afford it.
Those who need help can get free advice on how to sign up, like California resident Pablo Carrillo who said: “It is more complicated if you do it on your own and when you don’t have the right instructions. Many of us have doubts about what Obamacare is.”
There are worries over how Obamacare will actually work.
“Hopefully there won’t be any changes or anything like that because, like I said, this is my first child and I want everything to go by smoothly,” said Darshan Lee, who also lives in California.
In addition, there is the negative press that surrounded the launch of the Obamacare website last November. Millions of US dollars have been spent trying to fix the technical issues that plagued the site.
“You know you never get a second chance to make a first impression, and I think the fact that the rollout was so bad has really soured this in the public mind,” explained healthcare policy analyst Michael Tanner.
“And the fact that they’ve made so many changes. It seems like every week the administration is waiving this provision or changing that provision. I don’t think that’s helped with the public perception,” added Tanner.
The Affordable Healthcare Act is President Obama’s flagship reform and is the biggest overhaul of the US healthcare system since the 1960s. It is supposed make health coverage available for more of the nearly 50 million uninsured people in the country.