Sebelius promo event for ObamaCare in Pittsburgh flops as websites still fail

posted at 8:41 am on October 11, 2013 by Ed Morrissey

Kathleen Sebelius came to Pittsburgh yesterday to team up with Steelers chairman Dan Rooney to promote the newly launched ObamaCare exchanges. Maybe she should have tried the Denver Broncos.  The promotion flopped as badly as the Steelers in their first four weeks of the season, thanks to the $634 million website that can’t make a play:

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius had a front-row view of the problems plaguing the website that the government established to allow people to shop for health insurance under Obamacare.

Sebelius and Steelers Chairman Dan Rooney were at an enrollment and education event on Thursday at Heinz Field to promote Healthcare.gov, but people who showed up encountered problems in signing up for coverage on the website. …

“Believe me, we had some early glitches,” said Sebelius, who was introduced by Rooney, a backer of the law. “But it’s getting better every day.”

At the back of the room, it was a different story. About 20 people armed with laptops and certified by the government to sign up people for coverage were meeting with uninsured people, answering questions and fruitlessly trying to access the website.

LaKesha Lowry, 41, came to the event to find out about her health insurance options. But the North Side resident said she was not able to access the site, even with the help of a certified application counselor.

“It said, ‘Try again later,’ ” Lowry said.

Sebelius tried blaming Heinz Field, which probably didn’t make Rooney happy but might give Steelers fans another excuse for the 2013 season:

Asked about the ongoing problems with the website and the fact that people at a government enrollment event couldn’t sign up, Sebelius told reporters that she didn’t know what problems were affecting service at Heinz Field. The government has made hardware and software upgrades to improve the site, she said, and it is working for many people.

Define “many.” So far, they’ve managed to sign up as many subscribers for insurance in a little over a week as the average daily traffic of an upper-level independent blog.  They’ve managed to handle 13 million hits in nine days, according to Sebelius’ comments in Pittsburgh, which works out to our daily traffic level in October 2012, and we weren’t tossing out a bunch of 404s at the time. Oh, and one other thing — we weren’t imposing a mandate on all Americans to read us or pay a fine through the IRS, so bragging about traffic levels is more than just a little dishonest.

Here’s a pro-tip for Sebelius: Don’t do on-site signup events until the site can handle them, and don’t blame your host for your own website’s incompetent engineering.  Even the Steelers aren’t going to cotton to being that much of a doormat.


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Well they both suck, so they have that in common…

hillsoftx on October 11, 2013 at 8:46 AM

Even the Steelers aren’t going to cotton to being that much of a doormat.

The Steelers agreed to promote this crap sandwich, Ed. I’m thinking your favorite is willing to whore themselves out for anything. If I were you I would leave my money on the nightstand and find a better class whore somewhere else.

NotCoach on October 11, 2013 at 8:46 AM

To err is human. To really screw up, you need a government designed Obamacare signup program…

Kraken on October 11, 2013 at 8:48 AM

Here’s a pro-tip for Sebelius: Don’t do on-site signup events until the site can handle them, and don’t blame your host for your own website’s incompetent engineering. Even the Steelers aren’t going to cotton to being that much of a doormat.

“Little” Doocey on Fox News tried to get into the website all day yesterday with no success. The call center suggested trying again during off-peak hours (after midnight). I don’t think Heinz field had anything to do with it.

Happy Nomad on October 11, 2013 at 8:49 AM

The Obamacare that ate the Pittsburgh Steelers.

That’s why they’re 0-4, and might be 0-5.

And I’m a fan!

22044 on October 11, 2013 at 8:50 AM

Losers teaming up; that’s the American ObamiNation Way.

Steve Eggleston on October 11, 2013 at 8:51 AM

Epic fail but let’s talk about Cruz and the GOP low poll numbers instead
-lsm

cmsinaz on October 11, 2013 at 8:52 AM

Stealers and pirates in action in Pittsburgh yesterday, I see.

mankai on October 11, 2013 at 8:54 AM

Here’s a pro-tip for Sebelius: Don’t do on-site signup events until the site can handle them, and don’t blame your host for your own website’s incompetent engineering. Even the Steelers aren’t going to cotton to being that much of a doormat.

“Little” Doocey on Fox News tried to get into the website all day yesterday with no success. The call center suggested trying again during off-peak hours (after midnight). I don’t think Heinz field had anything to do with it.

Happy Nomad on October 11, 2013 at 8:49 AM

Typical lib pulling typical lib crap. Blame everyone except yourself.

22044 on October 11, 2013 at 8:56 AM

Sebelius tried blaming Heinz Field, which probably didn’t make Rooney happy

That’s what you get for teaming up with scumbag con men.

forest on October 11, 2013 at 8:58 AM

Stealers and pirates in action in Pittsburgh yesterday, I see.

mankai on October 11, 2013 at 8:54 AM

Nicely played!

Happy Nomad on October 11, 2013 at 8:59 AM

The lsm is actually blaming the gop for them not reporting on obamacare

What cajones

cmsinaz on October 11, 2013 at 8:59 AM

It’s “schNied”, you hick, not “schied”.

libertarianlunatic on October 11, 2013 at 9:00 AM

Stealers and pirates in action in Pittsburgh yesterday, I see.

mankai on October 11, 2013 at 8:54 AM

I’m tempted to end today’s Comment of the Day™ contest early.

Steve Eggleston on October 11, 2013 at 9:06 AM

Obamacare is bombing bigger than the Rosie O’Donnell Variety Hour.

kingsjester on October 11, 2013 at 9:08 AM

I’m tempted to end today’s Comment of the Day™ contest early.

Steve Eggleston on October 11, 2013 at 9:06 AM

You on the Nobel Peace Prize committee?

NotCoach on October 11, 2013 at 9:09 AM

The lsm is actually blaming the gop for them not reporting on obamacare

What cajones

cmsinaz on October 11, 2013 at 8:59 AM

Maybe they aren’t as smart as we think. In their sheer hatred for anything not communist or marxist they are reporting on why they are not reporting on something. Isn’t that essentially reporting on it? True it may not be in depth, but normally they would just gloss over it anyway and try to spin it.

MobileVideoEngineer on October 11, 2013 at 9:09 AM

2nd that egg

cmsinaz on October 11, 2013 at 9:11 AM

It’s “schNied”, you hick, not “schied”.

libertarianlunatic on October 11, 2013 at 9:00 AM

Yikes, fixed. I almost published it with “Pittsbrugh” in the headline, too.

Ed Morrissey on October 11, 2013 at 9:11 AM

Stealers and pirates in action in Pittsburgh yesterday, I see.

mankai on October 11, 2013 at 8:54 AM

I’m tempted to end today’s Comment of the Day™ contest early.

Steve Eggleston on October 11, 2013 at 9:06 AM

Thanks, but I failed to work in penguins… not that I didn’t try.

mankai on October 11, 2013 at 9:11 AM

Let’s recap a few things that people outside of Pittsburgh might not realize:

Taxpayer funding of Heinz Field was actually put on a ballot and voted on here (we don’t have referendums like CA) and went down in defeat to the tune of 70-30.

The Rooneys threatened to move the team both before and after the vote.

After defeat, our “leaders” came up with a Plan B that miraculously saved the team from moving.

In 2008, the Rooneys backed 0bama in a big way here.

After the election, Rooney Sr. becomes ambassador to Ireland.

Now he comes back and is still shilling for the big 0.

I’ll never understand why the Rooneys are treated like royalty around here. They all deserve each other.

Paul507 on October 11, 2013 at 9:11 AM

Losers seem to love losers

redguy on October 11, 2013 at 9:11 AM

You got me there MVE

cmsinaz on October 11, 2013 at 9:13 AM

“It said, ‘Try again later,’ ” Lowry said.

LOL. That’s just what my magic 8 ball used to tell me when I was a kid.

Think Obamacare was designed by the same company?

AZCoyote on October 11, 2013 at 9:16 AM

It’s just a delay in our unfortunate inevitable enslavement.

The government has no constitutional right to do much of what is doing but that don’t matter much anymore.

Better for HA to stop the empty attempt to get our hopes up.

Sad but true.

Sherman1864 on October 11, 2013 at 9:16 AM

Maybe they could try this: Run the website Monday thru Friday only, and divide the alphabet into five days, and you can only try to log in on your day of the week.

Has anyone tried to make an account during the middle of the night when people are only up playing video games? I am suspicious that they don’t want the costs to be publicized before this years November elections, where states like Virginia have an important Governor choice which is between Pro obamacare McCauliffe and Con Obamacare Cuccinelli. I really think real prices might sink McCaulliffe’s campaign. Look for the Exchange for Virginia to be fixed the second week of November.

Fleuries on October 11, 2013 at 9:17 AM

Why didn’t Sebelius team up with the whores at Seaseme Street, they could of had the Count spouting off each and every time the lucky bastards got through all of the self destroying website steps and were actually able to purchase a policy. I can just see it now;

Lucky Bastard #-1) Wow, after trying for 9 days and wasting almost 100 hours of my life stuck in cyberhell I was never so happy after being raked over the coals to buy an overpriced policy that gives me less coverage and higher deductibles. Yeah for me, I did it.

Count of Seaseme Street) One – uh uh ahh, that’s one.

Lucky Bastard #-2) Wow, after trying for 9 days. . . . . . .

Repeat a couple of times but really not much more than that.

D-fusit on October 11, 2013 at 9:21 AM

Frau Mengele is blaming bandwidth at Heinz Field.

Just resign already.

Bishop on October 11, 2013 at 9:24 AM

One simple fix that these idiots don’t have the sense to figure out: Don’t require setting up an account until after the suckers have browsed, chosen a plan, and then clicked to checkout. I’m sure it would still be fvcked up, but maybe not quite as bad.

TXUS on October 11, 2013 at 9:27 AM

Am I the only one that see strong similarities between the government and this new super strain of gonorrhea?

Fazman on October 11, 2013 at 9:27 AM

Still, this needs to be put in historical perspective. Germany first tried using container trucks with their exhaust piped into the back, it wasn’t until later that their system was “perfected”.

And the Khmer Rouge, well let me tell you, their labor camps didn’t even have decent watchtowers at the beginning, just shacks at ground level; the towers only came later after much study and focus-grouping.

Bishop on October 11, 2013 at 9:28 AM

One simple fix that these idiots don’t have the sense to figure out: Don’t require setting up an account until after the suckers have browsed, chosen a plan, and then clicked to checkout. I’m sure it would still be fvcked up, but maybe not quite as bad.

TXUS on October 11, 2013 at 9:27 AM

But then HHS wouldn’t have all that personal information on you.

Happy Nomad on October 11, 2013 at 9:30 AM

But then HHS wouldn’t have all that personal information on you.

Happy Nomad on October 11, 2013 at 9:30 AM

And OFA needs your current e-mail and home mailing address, so they know where to send their fund-raising solicitations.

AZCoyote on October 11, 2013 at 9:39 AM

About 20 people armed with laptops

More violent eliminationist rhetoric!

Next week Sebelius will go visit the New York football Giants.
(and I’m a fan.)

rbj on October 11, 2013 at 9:39 AM

AZCoyote on October 11, 2013 at 9:39 AM

I somehow got on the OFA email list and I can’t unsubscribe.

Shockingly, they don’t respond to my emails either.

mankai on October 11, 2013 at 9:43 AM

Thanks, but I failed to work in penguins… not that I didn’t try.

mankai on October 11, 2013 at 9:11 AM

Hey now! Don’t drag us into this mess….

TC@LeatherPenguin on October 11, 2013 at 9:52 AM

Heinz Field is a great place to watch a football game…

…thanks Rooney Family for allowing it to
be desacrated with this Criminal Parasite…

ToddPA on October 11, 2013 at 9:55 AM

Former Steelers Fan and Pittsburgh resident here:

100 people. Wow, sure they had enough refreshments? And they couldn’t even get the site working to allow them to sign up? Gee Dan, I hope that was worth ruining the Steelers brand over.

He made damn certain I never spend a dime on the team again. No tickets, no gear, nothing. The money I’ll have to pay to cover the increase in health costs is what I don’t have to spend on tickets and merchandise.

You don’t make apolitical/nonpolitical areas political. Businesses, sports, especially.

Saltyron on October 11, 2013 at 10:04 AM

…she said, and it is working for many people.


Define “many.”

The army of people getting paid to implement ObamaCare.

EA_MAN on October 11, 2013 at 10:14 AM

Sebelius tried blaming Heinz Field, which probably didn’t make Rooney happy but might give Steelers fans another excuse for the 2013 season:

So she was trying to blame the network at the stadium? If you’re able to hit the URL, but you’re getting “Try again later”, it’s not the local network that’s the problem.

Ward Cleaver on October 11, 2013 at 10:19 AM

The Rooneys need to let go of their Obamalove and get their team out of the dumper. You’d think Dan would have learned by now.

Philly on October 11, 2013 at 10:28 AM

Ha, ha, ha, ha!! I’m a Seahawks fan and WE HATE THE F’ING STEELERS! We’re loving their season, and this couldn’t have happened at a better place. The Steelers’ owners are whores, just as a previous poster said, and it serves them right to see them fail big time with this miserable administration.

HiJack on October 11, 2013 at 10:29 AM

As Sebelius takes her Joseph Goebbels shuck and jive show around the country, they should play the Beatles’ “Getting Better” as she comes on stage.

SpiderMike on October 11, 2013 at 10:36 AM

How can this much money be spent to hire all of the supposed best to set something up, and still fail this spectacularly? I’m going with divine providence.

Cindy Munford on October 11, 2013 at 10:43 AM

Here’s a pro-tip for Sebelius: Don’t do on-site signup events until the site can handle them, and don’t blame your host for your own website’s incompetent engineering. Even the Steelers aren’t going to cotton to being that much of a doormat.

Sorry Ed-steelers are a doormat

gerrym51 on October 11, 2013 at 10:51 AM

Sebelius tried blaming Heinz Field.

Ah. So now we know where the NSA Server Farm is buried.

Tsar of Earth on October 11, 2013 at 10:53 AM

But then HHS wouldn’t have all that personal information on you.

Happy Nomad on October 11, 2013 at 9:30 AM

And OFA needs your current e-mail and home mailing address, so they know where to send their fund-raising solicitations.

AZCoyote on October 11, 2013 at 9:39 AM

They also have to look up your party registration and political donations history before determining which plans you are eligible for.

slickwillie2001 on October 11, 2013 at 11:01 AM

Sebelius told reporters that she didn’t know what problems were affecting service at Heinz Field.

“She’s right! Give us hell, Kathleen!”

/Rooney

mankai on October 11, 2013 at 11:02 AM

As a Pittsburgher, I am no longer a Steelers fan.
Wasn’t Sibelius born in Cincinnati? Maybe this is just a sports ploy!!!!!

driguana on October 11, 2013 at 11:10 AM

You on the Nobel Peace Prize committee?

NotCoach on October 11, 2013 at 9:09 AM

Do I look Norwegian? Do I get to award prizes for the one-man opinion? Do I even discourage others from rewarding what they see to be awesome comments (unless they’re from me, in which case I do discourage that)?

;-)

Steve Eggleston on October 11, 2013 at 11:24 AM

“Please try again later”.

All the hits they are getting are the same people failing to sign up over and over.

Dollayo on October 11, 2013 at 11:51 AM

I have been reading local and national articles from all over the web and I’m starting to get the sense that most of the people being targeted for recruitment and the successful sign ups are actually mostly additional Medicaid recipients! People who didn’t have before or paid something are now getting for free. I guess that’s why they don’t really care how bad it’s going…because getting millions more sign up for free care isn’t a basis for a system you actually want to be successful…more people addicted to and demanding the spigot stay open on their entitlements and crash the whole system.

Caseoftheblues on October 11, 2013 at 12:16 PM

Sebelius tried blaming Heinz Field, which probably didn’t make Rooney happy
That’s what you get for teaming up with scumbag con men.

forest on October 11, 2013 at 8:58 AM

Aren’t they both scumbag conmen? Isn’t that a prerequisite for being a member of the current scumbag regime?

maryo on October 11, 2013 at 12:30 PM

Sebelius tried blaming Heinz Field.

Sebelius must be suffering from denial that is bad enough to threaten her psychological connection to reality.

SubmarineDoc on October 11, 2013 at 12:43 PM

It may be time to say good bye to my favorite team. If they aren’t smart enough to disengage from this train wreck, they lose me.

crosshugger on October 11, 2013 at 12:57 PM

In another indication of how bad things went yesterday, Pittsburgh’s largest newspaper (The Post Gazette) has NOTHING on the big event. They couldn’t even bring themselves to report on what a disaster it was. LOL!

reddevil on October 11, 2013 at 1:12 PM

Well at least she picked the right city for flops. Next, bankrupt Detroit.

HellCat on October 11, 2013 at 1:16 PM

Define “many.”

5 folks in Iowa.

Bitter Clinger on October 11, 2013 at 1:25 PM

as a web person, a “hit” does not a user make. One user entering a website could create 50 hits simply by entering the site. Everything that has to load to make the user see the site correctly is a “hit” – ie pictures, external CSS and JavaScript sheets, etc.

Next I think you may be being too hard on this wonderful website that cost taxpayers a mere $634,000,000. I understand Iowa now has a grand total of 5 accounts created, though Hawaii is still at zero.

In addition Sebilus is busy making up a schedule so that each state, county, and city will have a designated sign up time. Their citizens will then be issued an exact time when they are allowed to enter the site and sign up. Warning, each designated time will allow only 4 minutes, 32 seconds per sign up (which is longer than the doctors on your plan are allowed to spend with you as a patient by 1 minute) so you must have all your information ready to input, including names, addresses, dobs, credit card data, bank account info of everyone in your family down to your third cousin.

katablog.com on October 11, 2013 at 2:08 PM

Politics means the following would not apply.

If Sebelius as a business VP in charge or as project manager in charge went to a pre-arranged publicity demonstration and it was found that the system, whatever it was, pathetically failed, she’d be called on the carpet before being booted from the company.

Russ808 on October 11, 2013 at 5:28 PM