Obamacare, Day One: Classic Government Quality

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From The Washington Post:

The Web-based marketplaces that form the centerpiece of the president’s health-care law opened for business across the nation Tuesday morning, but many applicants ran into technical glitches that prevented them from signing up for health coverage.

People who were trying to sign up on Healthcare. gov, the federal government’s main portal in 34 states, were getting different error messages, including one warning the “system is down” and another saying that too many people are flooding the site.

From The Washington Examiner one person’s glitch-filled experience.

Even Sam Stein from Huffington Post had critiques, via Twitter (though he points out some of the issues are with an overload of people on the site):

Looks like the health care website glitches are a real issue. Imagine if the political world was focused on that and not a shutdown.

The Administration has apologized for the errors, but also replied with a bizarre defense (as reported in the Post) yesterday, before the launch was official:

On Monday, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius pleaded for patience during a briefing with reporters, acknowledging there would probably be some site issues in the coming days and weeks as the administration moves forward on the sweeping program known as Obamacare. She likened the inevitable fixes to software updates on Apple products such as the iPhone or iPad.

“No one is calling on Apple to not sell devices for a year or to get out of the business because the whole thing is a failure,” she said. “Everyone just assumes there’s a problem, they’ll fix it, let’s move on. . . . Hopefully, they’ll give us the same slack as they give Apple.”

Madame Secretary, there is a huge difference between Apple’s glitches and government-run failure. One is voluntary commerce that is privately funded. The other is a major functional failure on a taxpayer-funded website impacting medical care. The distinction is especially important since your boss and Congress rammed this law down our throats, but you can’t escape from your own law fast enough. You’re exempted from the system, but claim it’s perfectly fine for the American people writ large.