At first the Obama administration tried to pretend the problem with the new health care exchanges was due to heavy traffic, but with problems continuing for almost a week it has now acknowledged the cause is really design flaws. From the Wall Street Journal:
“We can do better and we are working around the clock to do so,” said Joanne Peters, a spokeswoman for the Department of Health and Human Services. The government is making software and hardware changes to smooth the process of creating accounts needed to gain access to the marketplace, federal officials said.
The website is troubled by coding problems and flaws in the architecture of the system, according to insurance-industry advisers, technical experts and people close to the development of the marketplace.
This is a real embarrassment for the administration given they had over three years to build these systems and it should have been a top priority. How important these problems will be long term is yet to be determined.
There is really no reason anyone should be sign up now, since the insurance can’t start until January 1st. I expect most people will wait to sign up until around the December 15th deadline, which is the last day to sign up to get coverage starting in January. If the administration can mostly fix these technical problems by November the impact will probably be modest. If it is not ready by that time that would be extremely concerning.
Photo by Thomas Hawk under Creative Commons license