(NaturalNews) Days after Obamacare's official rollout - a rollout that was being planned for years, by the way - it remains a technical (and financial) disaster, with millions of Americans still unable to log onto the government's online insurance exchanges.
On Oct. 1, the day the exchanges went live, Americans all over the country were thwarted by error messages, notices that "the system is busy right now," web pages timing out, garbled lines of text and pleas from the system to "be patient," Reuters and other news agencies reported.
Not quite the roll-out the Obama administration hoped for, but it was indicative nonetheless of the confusing, bureaucracy-laden and unworkable monstrosity that Obamacare is.
More from Reuters:
Technology experts and government officials were stumped about the reasons for the computer glitches plaguing the Obama administration's launch of new health insurance exchanges. They variously blamed an unexpected deluge of customers and outright errors that information technology (IT) teams labored throughout the day to fix.
Heavy use, poor IT systems - and lots of advanced warning
The problems were occurring faster than they could be addressed. In fact, by late afternoon, Obama officials were engaging reporters in a vain attempt to explain what was happening.
Marilyn Tavenner, administrator for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, told reporters that the federal website that runs the 36 exchanges operated by her agency was equipped with "added capacity" to address problems related to security questions. When told that users were still being blocked by security question glitches, she said, "We are making improvements as we speak."
Reuters noted that one of the day's "biggest mysteries" was the website for the New York State of Health; it received 10 million visits by the afternoon of opening day, a traffic surge one department official called "overwhelming and unanticipated."
What wasn't clear is why New York's exchange received so many visits. The exchange in Arkansas, by contrast, had only 16,000 visitors over the same period of time, while Reuters reported that Connecticut's exchanged logged about 34,500 visitors by the middle of the afternoon.
Problems were worse elsewhere. In Hawaii, for instance, the exchange is so screwed up that officials said it could take a week to get straightened out.
There were problems other than just those associated with heavy Internet volume, per the Christian Science Monitor:
Federal officials told The New York Times that it wasn't just high use that brought on the problems, but they did not elaborate. Healthcare.gov, the federal site that serves as the marketplace for more than 30 states, got 4.7 million unique visitors in its first 24 hours, the White House reports. No figures were released on how many people were able to sign up for coverage on the federal exchange.
'I'm gonna be fined??'
But honestly, it isn't as if these problems were not foreseen. In fact, reports for months have said the systems and exchanges were not going to be ready in time, despite years' worth of lead time. And now, it's not even clear when they will be fixed.
"These 'glitches,' which the President is trying to brush off, reveal how totally unprepared the government is for this launch even with three and a half years to prepare," Rep. Darrell Issa (R) of California, chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, said in a statement. "Now that Obamacare's implementation has begun, more and more of the American people will turn to Congress looking for practical health solutions the bill does not deliver."
Now, a few days into Obamacare's official launch, Americans are learning more about the law than they previously knew - for instance, the fact that, if they don't buy coverage, they will be fined. Check out their responses here: http://twitchy.com.
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