Though Alaska’s Sen. Mark Begich (D) promised an “aggressive strategy” to assure the success of ObamaCare in his state, not one Alaskan has been able to sign up for his state’s exchange.
In June, Senate Democrats who voted to approve ObamaCare vowed to double down in their support of the law that has proven to be a disastrous nightmare in its rollout.
“I don’t run from my votes,” Begich told the Associated Press. “Politicians who sit around and say, ‘That’s controversial so I better run from it,’ just ask for trouble. Voters may not always agree with you, but they respect people who think about these issues and talk about them.”
Begich reminded voters that, as a 2008 candidate, he called for an end to insurers denying coverage to those with pre-existing conditions, an end to lifetime coverage limits, and an easy transition for workers to leave their jobs and still have insurance under the new exchanges.
“There’s a lot of good that people will realize as this all comes online,” Begich said of ObamaCare’s exchanges.
The first-term senator highlighted that Senate Democrats have already voted to repeal parts of the law, such as paperwork for businesses and a tax on medical devices. He promised aggressive outreach to help his constituents use the exchanges and the other benefits of ObamaCare.
However, according to an AP article in Anchorage Daily News, Alaska’s Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R) wrote, in a letter to HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, that no one in Alaska has been able to sign up for insurance in that state’s exchange.
“This system that cost more than $400 million, took three years to build, and was billed as a one-stop shop for individuals seeking health insurance is not working as advertised,” Murkowski wrote. “In its first two weeks of operation, I am told that no one was able to enroll in the Alaska Exchange.”
Enroll Alaska chief operating officer Tyann Boling confirmed Monday that no one from the state has enrolled as of late last week.
“Now things are looking a little bit better this week,” Boling said. “It’s not for sure we’ve enrolled anybody yet, but things seems to be functioning a little bit better, but as of last week, we had not known of one person that had enrolled in the state of Alaska.”