In the last few days, many thousands of people trying to enroll in Obamacare have faced countless tech problems, including crashed servers, long waits, frozen screens and outright unresolvable errors. The LA Times reports that huge numbers of people who have tried to sign up for the new program have been unable to enroll. If the tech problems continue, it could spell disaster for the program.
Some tech experts say there wasn’t nearly enough beta testing done before the new websites went live upon the launch of the open healthcare marketplace on Oct. 1, and frustrated consumers could drop out of attempting to sign up. The people who have been successful in enrolling thus far could face hundreds of headaches when attempting to utilize the coverage due to mass confusion and lack of organization on the part of the insurance carriers.
While the new healthcare law has generated enormous controversy, one thing can be agreed upon by nearly everyone, according to technology expert Jeff Kagan. He says that a consensus has been reached on how well the government has handled the rollout, and that consensus is that it has been a disaster. “Whether you are for or against Obamacare, everyone seems to agree the government really dropped the ball on this rollout. Why didn’t the government ask for corporate help before the train wreck?” he asks.
Public interest in the program has been strong, but how long can people’s patience last when faced with glitch after glitch? The rollout has been called an “embarrassment” and “a black eye” on the administration, especially in light of the fact that the Obama camp is known for being technically knowledgeable.
President Obama went on record and begged the public to exercise patience as they deal with the problems and frustration of trying to enroll in the program to no avail, saying:
What’s happened is the website got overwhelmed by the volume. Folks are working around the clock and have been systematically reducing the wait times, but we are confident that over the course of the six months – because it’s important to remember people have six months to sign up – that we are going to probably exceed what anybody expected in terms of the amount of interest that people have.
Six months seems a bit optimistic in light of all the problems that have overwhelmed the system. The official word from the White House is that many of the glitches will be resolved by tomorrow. Meanwhile, Congress persists in acting like a bunch of infantile whiners as they have not been able to reopen the government. Of course, they continue to collect their enormous paychecks while federal workers are furloughed and get nothing but still have to show up for work.
Obamacare could be a disaster if tech problems continue, but do our lawmakers even care? The protestations from the American public about the inarguably horrible job Congress is doing seem to fall on deaf ears. The upcoming weeks will reveal if Obamacare will ever be able to get off the ground and run smoothly or if it will fall apart as the public loses interest. What will continue, however, is the fat cats getting paid no matter what happens to the people they are sworn to serve.
By: Rebecca Savastio