After listening to conservatives' hysteria over the Affordable Care Act for the last two weeks, it was fascinating to hear Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick talk about his state’s health care program, or Romneycare. The program, a micro version of the Affordable Care Act, served as the ACA's blueprint.
Though the program is wildly successful today, it launched with many of the same problems as the ACA, Patrick said
on MSNBC’s Up with Chris Hayes. Massachusetts has 97 percent of its residents signed into the program. The website, which is much smaller than the federal government’s ACA website, experienced numerous problems that had to be fixed in the days and weeks after the launch.
And even though there was evidence that many people were visiting the site, most of the enrollment activity took place as the deadline date drew closer.
Patrick was asked why Massachusetts’ plan has been so successful. His response? Democrats and Republicans worked together to make the program operate correctly. Problems were identified and fixed quickly.
Much of the catastrophe that opponents of the ACA predicted hasn't materialized in Massachusetts, but that shouldn't surprise anyone.