Media Blog

A Fair Media Account of the Healthcare.gov Launch

Here’s a very good piece published by the Miami Herald in a partnership with Kaiser Health News that does a great job of reporting on the tech issues that have plagued the online exchanges since they opened on Tuesday. An excerpt:

Consumers who visited the Jessie Trice Community Health Center in Brownsville, where many of the neighborhood’s uninsured seek medical services, still had no luck registering on the site Wednesday morning.

Paul Salazar, a federally-certified application counselor, was stationed with a laptop at the Trice center, hoping to help people learn about the health reform law and apply for coverage through the website.

He ran into the same delays that many encountered on the first day.

“At first, it was showing, ‘Page not found,’,’’ he said, “and now it’s just saying there are too many people on the site and try again later.’’

Herman Edwards, development manager for the health center, said consumers interested in signing up for health plans through the exchange were being told to come back

“Hopefully,’’ he said, “everything will be smoothed out by next week, at the latest.’’

While many consumers were locked out during the first two days, some got in.

Robert Whitman, 56, of Miami, said he was successful logging onto HealthCare.gov on Tuesday, when he created a user account and answered questions about his income that would determine his eligibility for federal subsidies to help pay premiums and cost-sharing amounts. He also browsed plans.

But Whitman was unable to re-access the site with his user account information on Wednesday.

“It was kicked back to me that my account information is incorrect,’’ he said.

The whole thing here.

What I mean by fair: We really don’t know what the problems are behind the federally controlled sites. Traffic numbers are all over the place and, as of yet, we’re not getting the actual number of people who are able to create accounts, and more importantly, the number of people applying for actual insurance. This article does a good job highlighting the problems as we know them, without speculating that they will either be a huge success or failure. 

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