Local help gets residents signed up for affordable healthcare - 14 News, WFIE, Evansville, Henderson, Owensboro

Local help gets residents signed up for affordable healthcare

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As hearings continue in Washington over the president's Affordable Healthcare Program, frustration continues for some trying to sign up online.

But there is help out there to help navigate the unpredictable website, healthcare.gov.

14 News tried numerous times to use the healthcare.gov website Tuesday night, but each time we got a message that the system is down. 

But some are using other methods to get people signed up.

"We're not here to do a political debate. We're not here to take sides," says Serena Feller with ECHO Community Health.  

When ECHO Community Health began guiding people through the Affordable Care Act, consultants like Feller had her clients fill out paper applications when healthcare.gov didn't work.

"It's hard when we have something exciting and we hear about this website that will make it quick and there are struggles," Feller says.

But after some technical adjustments, Feller says, "Already the website is tons better than it was day one, October 1st."  

The debate over the website and enrollment is prompting hearings in Washington.

"This initial experience has not lived up to our expectations or the expectations of the American people and it is not acceptable," says Marilyn Tavenner, the Administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. 

Also, there's concern that a majority of Americans' individual insurance plans could be canceled for plans under the ACA.

"It is getting harder to tell the Obamacare headlines from the Obamacare punch lines these days," Senator Mitch McConnell says.

Feller says some of her clients with pre-existing conditions or those who couldn't afford insurance are pleased to have affordable healthcare. She's happy to help.

"They are relieved to know what's fact and what's fiction and how it actually applies to them," Feller says.

On Wednesday, health and human services secretary Kathleen Sebelius will give her testimony.

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