Week 2: Media still can't navigate ObamaCare exchanges

A week ago, MSNBC tried to get on line to demonstrate the effectiveness of ObamaCare exchanges, and ended up wasting 45 minutes or so going nowhere.  As week 2 begins, after a humiliating weekend of having to pull down the federal system for fixes, the system still doesn’t work, as a reporter at a Georgia NBC affiliate discovers.  And when she calls for assistance, she finds that the HHS call center can’t tell her when it will, after trying three times to get through (via Daniel Halper):


The reporter concludes that the phones beat the website, but that’s damning with variable damnation:

Phone is best. At least for now. That’s according to the phone operator I reached after four tries and a full work day. The three times before, I sat on hold for an interminable amount of time before an automated survey came on asking me to rate the customer service — except I had yet to speak to anyone. And at the end of the survey, the line disconnected.

Still, it was further than I got online. Things began promisingly enough, and I created my Marketplace account. But every time I tried to log in, I would get a message that said the system wasn’t available or my username or password was wrong. I certainly can type incorrectly, but not every time for more than a hundred times.

And she was getting paid to do this.  In the end, when she finally reached a customer-service representative, he admitted that the system was still malfunctioning — and he had no idea when the problem would be resolved.

The irony of this automated question cannot be overstated:

“How would you rate your customer-service experience?”

Voters will deliver that answer in 2014, almost certainly.  That’s what the White House fears, and they’re still promising to fix it:

The Obama administration said on Monday it was fixingsoftware and capacity problems at the main website designed to enroll millions of Americans into new health plans.

The HealthCare.gov website has been beset by glitches since October 1, the first day people were allowed to enroll in the new coverage provided by the Affordable Care Act, commonly known as Obamacare.

The website, which serves insurance exchanges in 36 states, received 8.6 million unique visitors last week, according to the federal government.

“Our top issue when it comes to the glitches has been the extraordinary number of people coming to check out plans and find out more about Obamacare. The number has obviously exceeded expectations,” White House spokesman Jay Carney said at a news briefing.

“To make further improvements, we are doing several things at once, including adding server capacity and making software changes to make the system more efficient to handle higher volume.”


Isn’t that what they said they were doing over the weekend?  Guess it’s not the servers after all.

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Stephen Moore 12:00 AM | February 22, 2024