WASHINGTON (CBSDC/AP) – A recent poll has found that more than a quarter of all uninsured people in the United States plan to stay that way.
Researchers at Gallup found that 28 percent of people without coverage are planning to pay a fine instead of procuring health insurance under the Affordable Care Act.
“Most Americans who currently lack insurance say they are likely to get it for next year, as required by the 2010 Affordable Care Act, also known as ‘Obamacare,'” a release on the poll stated. “But a substantial minority, currently 28 percent, say they are more likely to pay the government fine imposed for not having insurance.”
The release continued, “The percentage planning to pay the fine has changed little in the last month, even as the 2014 deadline for having insurance draws nearer.”
A reported 17 percent of all American adults are presently uninsured, which means that if American sentiments on the matter do not change, the nation will fall short of its universal coverage goals. In all, 5 percent would remain uninsured.
Those who are trying to purchase insurance are still having trouble doing so through Healthcare.gov, the online marketplace component of the healthcare law.
Counselors helping people use the federal government’s online health exchange are giving mixed reviews to the updated site, with some zipping through the application process while others are facing the same old sputters and even crashes.
The Obama administration had promised a vastly improved shopping experience on HealthCare.gov by the end of November, and this is the first week for users to test the updated site.
More than 1 million people visited the site Monday and 380,000 browsed the site by noon Tuesday. Thanks to the technology fixes, response times had dropped to 1 second and error rates were under 1 percent, according to figures from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
“The system has been stable all day,” CMS communications director Julie Bataille said Tuesday, stressing they were still continually updating the site.
But Compuware Corp., which has been monitoring the site on thousands of personal computers around the country, said several states still had response times of more than 8 seconds Tuesday morning. Wisconsin’s average response time is over 18 seconds, according to the company.
Despite the Obama administration’s team of technicians working around the clock, it’s not clear if the site will be able to handle the surge of applicants expected by the Dec. 23 deadline to enroll for coverage starting at the beginning of the year. Many navigators also say they’re concerned the bad publicity plaguing the troubled website will prevent people from giving the system another try.
Federal health officials acknowledged the website is still a work in progress. They’ve also acknowledged the importance of fixing back-end problems as insurers struggle to process applications because of incomplete or inaccurate data. Even when consumers think they’ve gone through the whole process, their information may not get to the insurer without problems.
A reported 655 randomly selected American adults were polled between Nov. 20 and Dec. 2, the release noted.
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