Daily Ticker

Obamacare working, despite “difficulties” and “polarized politics”: Alice Rivlin

President Obama’s Affordable Care Act requires that nearly all Americans acquire health insurance by March 31 or pay a penalty fee and the federal health care program is still working out some kinks as the open enrollment deadline approaches.

"We are preparing for a surge in enrollment, and if consumers are in line on the 31st and can't finish, we won't shut the door on them," said U.S. Department of Health and Human Services spokeswoman Joanne Peters in a statement. "To be clear, if you don't have health insurance and do not start to sign up by the deadline, you can't get coverage again until next year."

Related: Businesses win, individuals lose in latest Obamacare delay

There has been great outcry over problems with the Healthcare.gov site.Alice Rivlin, a senior fellow at The Brookings Institute, says that's because Obamacare wasn’t given a fair chance. 

“Usually there are some glitches that show up in legislation and everybody agrees to just fix those things,” Rivlin tells The Daily Ticker. “But in the polarized political environment, nothing that was a technical glitch in the Affordable Care Act could be fixed.”

Related: Latest Obamacare headache: Thousands may not be insured after all

Even with the Obamacare missteps seen thus far, Rivlin believes the bill is solid compared to social programs of the past. “The roll-out of social security,” for example, “was extremely slow,” says Rivlin. “The law was passed in 1935 and the first benefits weren’t paid for about five years if not longer. Other programs have had similarly slow roll-outs and difficulties.”

Watch the video above to see what Rivlin, the founding director of the Congressional Budget Office, has to say about their estimates of job loss due to Obamacare.

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