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Vaunted Obamacare website still broken

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hc.gov landing

Technical problems with the federal health care insurance exchange are depriving Mainers of their affordable health care.

Healthcare.gov, the federal website designed to facilitate the Obamacare health insurance exchanges, has been an utter disaster since its launch on Oct. 1. Despite having nearly 3 1/2 years to prepare, two weeks after its launch, the website is still suffering from debilitating glitches, and few people, if any, have successfully used the service to acquire allegedly affordable health care insurance.

On day one, Maine users could not even make an account. Now, you can make an account, but glitches still prevent you from finding your affordable care. When a user attempts to log in, they arrive at a blank screen. Here’s what the screen looks like after you make an account and attempt to log in:

hc.gov success

Note: the site is so broken it doesn’t even display an error page, only a “success URL”

Calls placed to healthcare.gov tech support offered little assistance. A service representative, Ryan, asked for a phone number before explaining that the website is experiencing “technical difficulties.”

“We are extremely sorry,” said Ryan. “We do have technicians working on it,” he said. “They’re still running into some small glitches that they did not previously know about.”

He said not being able to log in is a “common problem.” He had no idea when it will be up and running.

“When we get one problem resolved, we seem to find another one,” he said.

Has anyone successfully signed up for Obamacare?

The Miami Herald conducted an extensive search to find a Floridian who had successfully navigated the labyrinthine healthcare.gov to enroll in Obamacare-approved health insurance. So far, they have not found a single person. With Obama’s vast campaign infrastructure still chugging away under the banner of Organizing for America, one would think the left would be able to find someone who has benefited from the online exchange. Indeed, the only person the national media was able to uncover who had successfully signed up for the exchange was a former OFA volunteer. And even he said the website is difficult to traverse. Still, with such a massive law, such a massive publicity campaign, and with country of more than 300 million, someone has to have signed up for Obamacare, right?

$634 million for a broken, glitch website?

The website digital Trends reported on Thursday that the creation of healthcare.gov cost taxpayers $634 million. The report, based on government documents showing a contract with CGI Federal Inc, a Canadian company, said the initial cost of the website was supposed to be $93 million. If the report is true, healthcare.gov was more expensive to build than Facebook and Twitter – two sites which actually work.

Reporter still can’t sign up after two weeks

CNN’s Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen has been trying to set up an account via healthcare.gov for the last two weeks without success.

“I put in my user name and password and didn’t recognize it,” she said in a report. “Error messages. Page not found. System down. It’s been a tough nearly two weeks for Obamacare.”

“I’ve been trying since day one to get an account and login healthcare.gov,” she says. “I failed again … and again … and again.”

Cohen said the 1-800 number directs her to call again when traffic would be lower. So she called in early in the morning – first at 7 a.m. and then at 3 a.m. – still to no avail. Clearly, the problems with the Obamacare exchange go much deeper than high traffic – the excuse the administration has thus far relied on.

Even liberals are turning on the Obamacare exchange

Over at MSNBC, the Washington Post’s Ezra Klein, a big Obamacare supporter, has called healthcare.gov a “big failure.”

“We’re a couple of weeks in and people can’t sign up, people have tried 20, 30, 40 times,” Klein said on Morning Joe on Monday. “It’s one thing for that to be true the first three or four days, it’s another thing for it to be true two or three weeks in.”

“One of the Obama administration’s jobs, separate from all of the political stuff we talk about here, is to simply run things like this well, to run their signature legislative initiative well,” he said. “On that, so far, this has been a big failure.”

High traffic isn’t the only problem

As Economist reports, “Officials say that too many people tried to log on at once; within three days, 8.6m had visited healthcare.gov. But having trumpeted health reform for years, Mr Obama’s team should hardly be surprised that Americans decided to check it out.”

Jon Stewart does the real media’s job, dismantles Sebelius

Health Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, who for some reason still has a job, went on Comedy Central’s The Daily Show to defend Obamacare but instead got grilled by liberal comedian Jon Stewart. In the cringeworthy appearance, Sebelius is at a loss to explain why big businesses are exempt from Obamacare’s mandates while individuals will still be forced to sign up or else pay penalties.

At the end of the interview, Stewart reaches a conclusion most Wire readers won’t find remarkable: Sebelius  was being dishonest.

According to the parts of the site that do work, Americans have 168 days left to enroll in a qualified health insurance plan before the IRS will start hounding them for the individual mandate penalty. Which raises the interesting question, first posed by House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), “How can we tax people for not buying a product from a website that doesn’t work?”

About Steve Robinson

Steve Robinson is the former editor of The Maine Wire and currently the executive producer of the Kirk Minihane Show. Follow him on Twitter @BigSteve207.

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