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Shutdown or no shutdown, Obamacare launched today

It is a piece of legislation so divisive that it has shut down one of the world’s largest governments, but one of Obamacare’s most important functions went live today regardless.

WHILE 800,000 FEDERAL employees were sent home for the day in the US, the issue that caused the shutdown carried on regardless.

House Republicans sought the delay of the Affordable Care Act before they would agree to pass a continuing resolution that would fund the US government up until November.

Democrats steadfastly refused and, as a midnight deadline passed, many of the staff at federal agencies were sent home, with back pay not guaranteed.

However, today www.healthcare.gov looked like this:

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Some 1,300 days after US President Barack Obama signed into law what will likely become his legacy piece of legislation – for better or for worse- its most important feature has gone into effect.

The initial phase of coverage is expected to see 7 million Americans sign up for health insurance. That is from a a total of 48 million who have no coverage whatsoever.

The Department of Health in the US says that more than half of those who are uninsured will be able to avail of coverage for less than $100 a month, a far cry from the figures currently paid.

However, the launch was not all plain sailing, as computer glitches saw websites for individual states crashing.

In total, 16 states will operate their own version of the act, but the other 34 states will have a marketplace run wholly or partly by the federal government.

Obama told NPR News that the system wouldn’t be without bumps.

“When Massachusetts, just one state, set this up, it took quite a long time.

It took several months before everything was smoothed out. Of course, the same was true with Medicare and Social Security and every other social program that we’ve set up, the Children’s Health Insurance Program.

Read: US government shuts down after Obamacare row

Explainer: Why has the US government shutdown and what does it mean?

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