Only 572 residents sign up for healthcare - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Only 572 residents sign up for healthcare

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The Affordable Care Act is being widely criticized after statistics show that only one-hundred thousand people were able to sign up online for new policies.

Since the web site launched glitches have prevented thousands of people from accessing the online marketplace, and folks are frustrated.

"I understand why folks are frustrated, I would be too," President Obama said Thursday morning when he addressed the report released by the Department of Health and Human Services. The project showed that less than one percent of the nations uninsured were able to sign up for healthcare in the first month of the website launch.

"I think the numbers low, not only in South Carolina but across the nation because of the glitches in the system. The website was not operating properly. They weren't able to successfully get in and complete and application and a lot of people got frustrated with that, said Gail Diggs, director of outreach for Rural Healthcare Services.

In South Carolina, only five-hundred and seventy-two people were able to successfully enroll in new healthcare plans. That's less than one percent of the total nation. Rural Healthcare Services assists people in the CSRA who need help signing up in the marketplace. Diggs said aside from the website issues, there a number of reasons why South Carolina's numbers are so low.

"Some people are afraid. They don't know what it means for them. They don't understand it," she stated.

She also believes that the recent statistics are misleading...

"It minimizing the impact that we are actually making."

She says that seventy-five percent of the people she helps prefer signing up for insurance by phone or mail; not on the website. She said it's entirely too soon even consider eliminating Obamacare.

"A lot more people are taking advantage of it. I think it's a little early to entirely rule out the affordable health care act."