‘Glitches’ Dominate News of Obamacare HIX Launches
By Sandhya Somashekhar and Susan Svrluga // October 1, 2013
PRESIDENT OBAMA, SECRETARY SEBELIUS PLEAD FOR PATIENCE
ABOVE VIDEO: Mara Schiavocampo, one of the anchors of the liberal-leaning cable news network, MSNBC, ran into difficulties as she tried to sign up for the newly launched online health-care exchanges on Tuesday. After getting an error message on the website, she called the help line twice, but wasn’t able to reach a navigator on the other end. Instead, she was put on hold for 35 minutes. Frustrated and perhaps a bit embarrassed, Schiavocampo said, “If I were signing up for myself, this is where my patience would be exhausted.”
EDITOR’S NOTE: The launch of the Obamacare online health insurance exchange (HIX) marketplaces has had a very rocky start, with multiple reports of technical difficulties in states across the country. The administration claims that these “glitches” that consumers are encountering should be corrected “very soon.” However, President Obama, in an interview with NPR, said, “In the first week, first month, first three months, I would suspect that there will be glitches.”
The Washington Post article excerpted below was updated at 2:03 p.m Tuesday and is typical of a morning in which the primary message across most media outlets highlighted the technical breakdowns in the marketplace systems.
WASHINGTONPOST.COM–Uninsured Americans around the country showed up at health centers and logged onto government Web sites Tuesday morning in hopes of being among the first to sign up for coverage under the president’s health-care law, but many ran into technical glitches that prevented them from enrolling.
Among them was Paula Thornhill, 31, who turned up at the Greater Prince William Community Health Center in Virginia, a couple of her children in tow. Center staff told her the Web site was down and that they could not yet enroll her or tell her how much it would cost. But Thornhill, who has no health insurance, remained hopeful that she would be able to find affordable coverage.
“I’m relieved that they did come out with this affordable health care,” she said, as her mother-in-law filled out some paper forms. “I’m relieved.”
Across the country, Web-based marketplaces that form the centerpiece of the sweeping health-care law known as Obamacare opened for business, a landmark moment for the embattled program that is at the heart of the standoff on Capitol Hill.
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