(POLITICO) It turns out Washington didn’t have to shut down the government to hamstring Obamacare: It was caught up in its own start-up glitches Tuesday morning.

In state after state, users weren’t able to sign up for new health exchanges on the Web, encountering messages like “error establishing a database connection,” “your account couldn’t be created at this time,” and “please wait here until we send you the login page.” The federal government’s Website advised customers that “the system is down at the moment” around 9:30 a.m.

The portal for Maryland’s version of the health insurance marketplace, one of those expected to be in the best shape because Gov. Martin O’Malley and the legislature embraced Obamacare early on, told folks to try again at noon — four hours after the advertised opening of the exchange.

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