Administration shutting down applications this weekend

And no, it is not part of their absurd and out-of-the-way campaign to hang the “gone fishin’ because of Republican malfeasance” sign across the homepage of every government website they can possibly think of — although I have no doubt that the Obama administration is perfectly content to let anyone and everyone think that the government shutdown is the reason. Via HuffPo:

The federal government will take down a critical part of, the Obamacare web portal, for a portion of the coming weekend as programmers feverishly work to fix major glitches that are impeding enrollment and marring the debut of the centerpiece of President Barack Obama’s health care reform law. …

The administration will not allow users to fill out applications for coverage on during part of the weekend, allowing programmers to write fixes to the website without also fielding visitors, the Department of Health and Human Services announced late Friday.

“To make further improvements to the system, we will be taking down the application part of the website for scheduled maintenance during off-peak hours over the weekend. The enhancements we are making will enable more simultaneous users to successfully create an account and move through the application and plan shopping process,” reads a press release issued by the Department of Health and Human Services Friday. “We expect that Monday, less than a week after the Marketplace opening, there will be significant improvements in the online consumer experience.” The telephone call center will remain open, the department announced.

The real reason, of course, is the many stories about the prohibitive number of “glitches” the ObamaCare portal and its various blue-state brethren are experiencing to which the administration would rather not draw attention.

More than 8.6 million unique visitors have visited the site since Tuesday, HHS proudly informs us — but how many of those 8.6 million visitors have had any success so far? Ahem:

It’s a batting average that won’t land the federal marketplace for Obamacare into the Healthcare Hall of Fame.

As few as 1 in 100 applications on the federal exchange contains enough information to enroll the applicant in a plan, several insurance industry sources told CNBC on Friday. Some of the problems involve how the exchange’s software collects and verifies an applicant’s data.

“It is extraordinary that these systems weren’t ready,” said Sumit Nijhawan, CEO of Infogix, which handles data integrity issues for major insurers including WellPoint and Cigna, as well as multiple Blue Cross Blue Shield affiliates.

Experts said that if‘s success rate doesn’t improve within the next month or so, federal officials could face a situation in January in which relatively large numbers of people believe they have coverage starting that month, but whose enrollment applications are have not been processed.