Nurse, IT Professionals Dealing With Health Care Rollout Problems

Glitches on the HealthCare.gov website have set the rollout of the Affordable Care Act back.

One of the biggest stories in the current news cycle has been the many difficulties the government has faced in the rollout of its health care exchanges.

Partially due to glitches in the HealthCare.gov website, a little bit more than 100,000 people signed up for health insurance through the exchanges in the first month of the program, nearly 400,000 fewer than the Obama administration had predicted. And with some people who were already signed up for insurance being kicked off their existing plans, controversy is swirling.

Fixing the website
The problems with HealthCare.gov have been well-documented ever since it first opened Oct. 1. Long wait times, error messages and features that simply didn't work were just a few of the technical issues. The glitches were so pervasive that fewer than 27,000 people signed up for health insurance through the website in its first month of operation.

In response to public and congressional pressure, the president held a press conference on Nov. 14 where he spoke to the many difficulties with HealthCare.gov, comparing his role to that of a football quarterback.

"If I fumble the ball, you know, I'm going to wait until I get the next play, and then I'm going to try to run as hard as I can and do right by the team," President Barack Obama told reporters. "So, you know, ultimately I'm the head of this team. We did fumble the ball on it."

Keeping people on existing coverage
Just as controversial as the website has been the fact that many people who had insurance policies the government deemed substandard have been notified that they will be losing that coverage, despite previous promises to the contrary.

That aspect of the Affordable Care Act's implementation has been drawing fire from both sides of the political spectrum, and the White House also announced on Nov. 14 that it will allow those people to stay on their existing plans for up to a year.

Effect on careers
For anyone who has an IT degree, or who is pursuing a career in nursing, the difficulties with the health care rollout could have a direct impact on their profession.

And in the case people with careers in information technology, the problems with HealthCare.gov have served to turn the public's attention to the IT industry as a whole. Until the overall health insurance sign-up issues are resolved, nurses will be caught in the same gray area as the rest of the health care profession, awaiting word on how the Obama administration will iron everything out.

This article is sponsored by Western Governors University, a nonprofit, accredited, online university. WGU offers online RN to BSN, BSN to MSN, and RN to MSN degree programs to working nurses who already have a current RN license. To find out more, please visit www.wgu.edu/wisecareers_nursing.

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