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ACA Deadline Pushed Back at Last Minute

CEDAR RAPIDS, IA (CBS2/FOX28) In Linn County, 19 different organizations have been working together to help people get signed up for Health Insurance. Three months after the exchange went live, those organizations are proud of the work theyve done, much of which came despite a number of technical glitches and setbacks.

A troubled website launch in October brought delays and headaches.

"How can we overcome the various barriers put in place as a result of this being rolled out as quickly as it was, asked Affordable Care Act Education and Outreach Specialist Jeff Tourdot.

"I mean it's almost like labor and delivery. You have the big problems but then it's over and it's gone afterwards and you just remember the good, said Community Health Free Clinic CEO Darlene Schmidt.

But the first day went live, the patient we followed couldnt even finish the most-basic first step, creating an account.

It took roughly a month before people like Mimz Grabau and Danny Fry were able to sign up for coverage. Both had been uninsured.

"We're going to look back and say, "How in the world did the United States ever get by without some supplement help for affordable healthcare, asked Schmidt.

They join the estimated 757 Iowans who signed up through October and November. The states December numbers arent available yet. Nationwide, the estimate is at more than one million enrolled, with about half of that coming in the first three weeks of this month.

"There's many people that have cancer that didn't have coverage in place. There's many people that have just simple illnesses that are no longer going to be worried about how they're going to pay for that, said Tourdot.

After tomorrows deadline, all eyes are on March 31st. Thats when fines kick in for anyone who isnt insured.

Jeff and Darlene say the work that their groups have done so far will help in the time before the end of March. Theyll play a role in reaching the goal of seven million people signed up in just three months. So far, those numbers are obviously far short.
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