If you think the rollout of the Affordable Care Act — also known as “Obamacare” — is messy, said Rachel Maddow on her show Thursday night, “you should have seen the rollout of the now wildly popular “Romneycare” program that the ACA was modeled on.
Maddow began the segment by directing viewers to Repeal-RomneyCare.com, a website that sprang up in the wake of then-Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney’s rollout of the state plan for citizens to enroll in private health insurance plans or face fines and penalties.
“Look!” Maddow said with a chuckle. “It’s in Japanese!”
“Whoever used to be maintaining RepealRomneyCare.com has obviously really let it go,” Maddow said. The website is now abandoned because the effort to overturn Romneycare was abandoned. The program now enjoys massive popularity in the state.
During its implementation phase, however, the program definitely had its issues. In January of 2007, as Gov. Mitt Romney (R) left office, Massachusetts residents began to sign up for their new health insurance policies.
In the first month, only 123 people signed up for the new policies out of the entire state of Massachusetts.
“But, they kept plugging away,” Maddow said, and gradually the numbers began to rise and rise.
“There were definitely glitches along the way,” she said. “The website didn’t work very well at first, they had to keep tweaking the law. They changed certain rules about what benefits had to be covered.”
She continued, “There were a bunch of different fixes they had to do to make it work, but they kept at it.”
The difference between Massachusetts and the national model is that there wasn’t an entire political party and grievance industry rooting for it to fail, she said. It remains to be seen whether the Obama administration and ACA supporters can overcome the massive political effort to make them fail.
Watch the video, embedded via MSNBC, below: