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Demand is there for Obamacare

Published March 31. 2014 4:00AM

The following editorial appeared recently

in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

For what the Obamacare website went through during its first couple of months, 5 million sign-ups so far for new insurance plans under the health care law doesn't sound so bad. In fact, it indicates that there is strong demand. The administration expects about 6 million will enroll by month's end.

The health care law requires most Americans to have health insurance or face a $95 penalty or 1 percent of their income this year.

Initially, the Congressional Budget Office had expected 7 million people would sign up by March 31, but after it became clear that healthcare.gov and state-based websites were having problems, that number was revised downward.

The mix of enrollees continues to be a concern - not enough young, healthy people have signed up. And problems remain with the national online health insurance marketplace requiring time-consuming fixes. Yet insurers selling plans on the marketplace seem to be pleased with the response.

Obamacare isn't perfect - and the rollout was anything but perfect. It was downright awful. But to have 5 million people signed up despite these frustrations says something about what people need and want. Obamacare remains a reasonable way for them to get it.

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