Years in the making, Obamacare, the move to take one-sixth of the American economy and put it under control of Washington bureaucrats, on Tuesday greeted consumers with the message: “Please Wait.”
Technical glitches left consumers waiting online, on the phone, and sometimes, embarrassingly, online and on the air, as the Obama administration rolled out the president’s signature plan for America.
The Washington Post reported that the national program to serve consumers malfunctioned for many in 34 states.
On MSNBC where anchors largely have cheered Obama’s policies, Mara Schiavocampo was frustrated with her experience with Obamacare.
She reported she created an account but then received an error page.
“After 30 minutes of trying to access the pick-your-plan page, Schiavocampo unsuccessfully attempted to initiate an online chat with somebody on the Obamacare site,” according to the Washington Free Beacon. “She then decided to call the help number in hopes of speaking with a highly trained navigator. Her first call lasted three minutes. Her second call lasted 20 minutes. The calls repeatedly played a recorded message.”
“If I were signing up for myself, this is where my patience would be exhausted,” she said.
At Fox Business, editors documented the message from the federal government: “We have a lot of visitors on our site right now and we’re working to make your experience here better. Please wait here until we send you to the login page.”
It said it also had found that the federal system won’t be able to determine “which consumers are eligible for Medicaid or government subsidies,” and also, that the Spanish language site simply isn’t ready.
Fox noted that Obama already had warned Americans about the systems’ glitches, stating, “There are going to be some glitches as this thing unfolds.”
A Fox poll noted that those Americans haven’t been pleased, with 54 percent wishing the Obamacare system simply would go away.
At the Washington Post, reporters described the problems for Paula Thornhill, 31, who traveled to the Greater Prince William Community Health Center in Virginia with her children only to be told the government website was down and no one could help her.
The report said in the first 90 minutes in Washington, about 1,500 people created accounts, but things weren’t so smooth in West Virginia.
The report said Jon Tucci was frustrated after the “totally disappointing” experience.
Bureaucrats tried to shrug off the bad experiences being offered.
“We have built a dynamic system and are prepared to make adjustments as needed and improve the consumer experience,” Joanne Peters of the Department of Health and Human Services said in a statement. “Consumers who need help can also contact the call center, use the live chat function, or go to localhelp.healthcare.gov to find an in-person assister in their community.”
The Associated Press reported out of Washington that Obama was deploying “top deputies to spread the message.”
The New York Post reported that one of the organizations hired to sign up people for Obamacare is Seedco, which was sued by the federal government for “faking at least 1,400 of 6,500 job placements under a $22.2 million federally funded contract with the city.”
The report said now Seedco is “among the frontline agencies” to help the Obama administration move Obamacare into Americans’ homes and lives.
In a statement reported by TechCrunch, Obama defended the program, glitches and all.
“Consider just a couple 0f weeks ago Apple rolled out a new mobile operating system, and within days, they found a glitch, so they fixed it. I don’t remember anybody suggesting Apple should stop selling iPhones or iPads or threatening to shut down the company if they didn’t.”
On Twitchy was a quote from Obama to House Republicans. “The Affordable Care Act is moving forward. You can’t shut it down.”
Added Twitchy, “No need to shut it down. The Obamacare health insurance exchange websites don’t work.”
National Review reported problems for the national program, as well as multiple state programs that are being promoted by the federal government.
At the Hot Air blog was the comment, “They had three years to work out the kinks. Not only couldn’t they do it, apparently some of them couldn’t do something as simple as prepare their servers for the load on launch day knowing that there’d be a crush of interest after a massive federal PR campaign involving the president himself.”
The message continued, “Imagine Obama’s reaction if someone had told him in March 2010 that development of the exchanges would be so half-a–ed that he’d be forced to spend the day before they open – ostensibly his moment of triumph – warning reporters that glitches were assured.
“This is his signature domestic ‘achievement,’ the biggest paradigm shift toward state-administrated health care in decades, the success of which depends on making things as easy as possible for the uninsured to sign up.”
After hours of headaches, healthcare.gov posted an apology, “Thanks for all your comments and updates as you enroll. We apologize that wait times on the site and hotline are longer than expected.”
See additional parts of the Obamacare, shutdown story: