Patsy Harris

Patsy Harris

By Patsy Harris

Ever been to Walmart on Black Friday, that amazing shopping day after Thanksgiving? We did last year, just for the entertainment. And entertaining it was. The store was totally crammed with people going after those long-awaited Christmas bargains. The line for every register stretched way down the shopping aisles. Customers pushing buggies loaded with huge flat-screen TVs and iPads navigated what was left of the aisle space. All movement was achingly slow, seemingly at a dead standstill.

But, no, people were exiting the store with their stuffed buggies, the bargains now their own. Walmart does its level best every year to meet this biggest day of sales. And it works… slowly, but it works. Customer patience is all that is needed.

Of course, I am comparing this to last week’s first days of enrollment for the Health Insurance Marketplace – ObamaCare. The system’s phone lines were busy, its website was overloaded. Some in the media used words like “glitch,” “flaw,” “crash,” “overwhelm,” “bug”… as though, oh, all is lost. The shock and surprise that there were problems on these first days were simply by those who look for any reason whatsoever to bash our President.

Millions of Americans have absolutely no health insurance, and so, last week millions of Americans who take pride in taking personal responsibility, called and clicked into the new system to shop and compare. And it worked… slowly, but it worked. Customer patience was all that was needed.

For the folks who got through and were the first to buy a new health insurance plan last week, their plans will go into effect on Jan. 1, 2014 – the same for all new plans purchased by Dec. 15 this year. Buying early will not provide insurance any earlier. And we all have six months to buy into the Health Insurance Marketplace.

It’s like Walmart having Black Friday every day for six straight months, 24 /7, with an unlimited supply of those long-awaited bargains. Wait till the crowds thin out a little, and then, let’s go shopping.

Patsy Harris is a member of the Morgan County Democratic Committee.