It’s Day One of ObamaCare, and — as predicted — the brand-new online insurance exchanges are off to a bumpy start across the country with technological glitches galore. Never fear, however; the Obama administration is here to blithely assure us all that these small and completely surmountable errors will be fixed within a mere matter of hours, via Reuters:
Unexpectedly high Internet traffic volumes spawned delays on the first day of operations for federally operated Obamacare health insurance marketplaces, but the problems would be resolved within hours, an official said on Tuesday.
The official said the online system set up to serve uninsured consumers in 36 U.S. states was functioning but that slow speeds and problems loading pages were due to high volumes. “We expect to resolve these issues in the coming hours,” the official said.
Yeah… Color me somewhat skeptical that all of the technological, financial, and security problems are going to be fixed in short order. I’d wager that they’re only going to begin to emerge with more severity as the days and the weeks roll by, but obviously, the Obama administration needs to put on its bullish face. They really, really need people to keep getting on their computers to try and sign up, so it’s smiling faces all around, via the WFB:
We’re thrilled that this day has finally come. The president signed the health care bill in March of 2010, and we have now — implementing the final piece of the puzzle, which is to provide affordable coverage for about the fifteen percent of Americans who either don’t have health care at all or are in and out of the so-called individual market and basically at the mercy of insurance companies. They’ll now be able to choose between private insurance plans who have to compete for their business based on service and based on price. Healthcare.gov has plans side-by-side, families can figure out what works within their own budget and figure out what kind of financial help they may qualify for and make a great choice about health security for the first time ever. So, we have had a few slowdowns, a few glitches, but it’s sort of a great problem to have. It’s based on the fact that the volume has been so high and the interest is so high. We’re working quickly to fix that.
Hmm. On some level, yes — it is true that at least the technological problems of the wildly rushed online exchanges will eventually get fixed and start running smoothly… but what about ObamaCare itself? The fact that a supposedly encouraging number of people showed up today to try things out today is really only encouraging if enough of the right people showed up.
As Secretary Sebelius is plenty well aware, if the 1 million people HHS says have already visited the new website in the past day only consist of the people most in need of care — i.e., the people with the highest probable interest in the program and not the young, healthy, and much less costly individuals the administration also needs to sign up en masse — then high volume could very well mean the eventual and dreaded “death spiral” scenario in which the system is too overloaded with expensive participants and not enough healthy people to balance out their costs.
The administration is very, very worried about this, as evidenced by their own desperate media campaign directed at young people, and they know that a high volume of visitors in and of itself isn’t necessarily the good thing that it seems to be on its face.