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The Government Shutdown Is Tiresome — So Let’s Celebrate Universal Healthcare!

Image of the HealthCare.gov marketplace sign up process: create an account, apply, pick a plan, enrollThis post was written by our Public Health Intern, Cassidy Hayes.

Unless you’re intentionally avoiding the media (which, in all honesty, seems like an okay idea these days), you know the big news story is the government shutdown. But something else important happened last week — something that, ironically enough, was essentially responsible for the government shutting down in the first place.

That’s right: in the midst of a shutdown over Republicans’ attempts to defund the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the Health Insurance Marketplace opened on Tuesday — courtesy of the ACA.

And even amid tough times for federal employees and government contractors like CommunicateHealth, the successful start to open enrollment under the ACA has us celebrating. And it looks like we aren’t the only ones who are excited: 2.8 million people visited HealthCare.gov — the government website designed to guide consumers through the emerging marketplace — and millions began the process of applying for insurance.

A lot of work went into preparing websites for the marketplace opening, and there were some glitches as sites had trouble keeping up with the high demand. (Did you catch that? That means there were just too many people trying to sign up!)

Despite the glitches, the overall user experience of signing up for healthcare has greatly improved. We loved this video where one man actually sits down and tries to sign up for health insurance the new way and the old way. As you can see from the video, plain language wins again.

Yes we are all tired of the shutdown, but the ACA is in place and moving forward. Sure, there’s still work to be done and the law will require adjustments over time, but we’re finally on a path toward equality in healthcare — and that is cause to celebrate!

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