As everyone must have heard by now, Oct. 1 was the first day to enroll for President Barack Obama’s signature health care program known as the Affordable Care Act or Obamacare, by many. The first day was, in a word, “frustrating” to many who tried to enroll in the program, according to a Huffington Post article and many other media reports on Tuesday.
An estimated 2.8 million people went to the federal governmental web site labeled HealthCare.gov to find their insurance exchanges for enrollment. Unfortunately, it was a futile effort because the millions of people were unable to sign on to the web site due to an alleged “glitch” in the system already.
Responding to the frustrations persons had with the first day and their highly-anticipated first experience with the controversial new law, Obama spoke about the problems with program’s initial hours by comparing it to persons’ troubles with Apple – when something goes awry with a new technological product. The comparison fell embarrassingly flat for the president when, near-and-far, it was noted that people don’t have to buy Apple products by law, as people now have to purchase health insurance. Furthermore, if a person wants to purchase technology, one has many options by simply going to another name-brand product instead of Apple if Apple’s product has a glitch. Furthermore, the IRS won’t be around in the near future to financially punish a person who doesn’t buy technology – but, be certain, the IRS will be finding out if a person hasn’t bought health insurance, and the person will be given administered financial punitive damages if he hasn’t.
Unlike persons frustrated with the first day of the system, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius tried to diffuse well-deserved criticism with the frustrations people were having by saying that there were a few slowdowns and a few glitches, but – she claims – it’s a great problem because it’s based on the fact that the volume has been so high and the interest is so high. Surely Sebelius must know that interest is not necessarily the reason for the high traffic trying to enroll. The reason is that it’s now the law. Also, security questions and even entering one’s name was a problem for many of the people who were trying to enroll. That has nothing to do with high traffic. It’s something that should have been test driven before the first day of operation.
Some are trying to compare it to the glitches in previous governmental programs. However, technology has progressed since those former instances, and apparently old errors are still being experienced in governmental agencies’ technology.
Enrollment for the 20214 health benefits reportedly goes through March 31, and coverage chosen by Dec. 15 takes effect on Jan. 1.
No word on how long it will take to correct the glitches in the system.