Just as the national hotline associated with the HealthCare.gov website has been flooded with calls, so has the Department of Health and Human Services been deluged with media inquiries. The department’s website alerts visitors, “We are experiencing a high volume of media requests about the Affordable Care Act and the Health Insurance Marketplaces.” HHS’s press officials, it appears, were not fully prepared to handle all of the attention, so the department is now requesting that before placing a call, reporters refer first to a “frequently asked question” section on the HealthCare.gov site and e-mail the HHS media team. On the home page of office of HHS’s assistant secretary for public affairs, reporters are now greeted with the following notice:
As those who have been following the rollout will know, many who have called the federal hotline have been referred back to the website by an automated message. Now, it appears, reporters are experiencing the same thing.