- Gentlemen, start your drones: Judge’s ruling opens door for commercial use
- Soldier who hid, bragged about not saluting flag to be punished — in secret
- ‘Maverick’ of the seas: ‘Top Gun’ school for U.S. ship officers to launch
- Putin declares Sochi Paralympics open amid Ukrainian protest
- ‘In Jesus name, we pray’ sparks ire at Ohio council meeting
- Navy’s first laser weapon ready for prime time; drone killer to deploy this summer
- Billionaire backer: Rick Santorum ‘needs to be heard’ in 2016
- Obamacare fallout: 49 percent pessimistic; 45 percent ‘scared’
- DHS accused of holding U.S. citizen at airport, using emails to pry into her sex life
- Seattle socialist: Minimum-wage discussion skewed by ‘right-wing’ GAO analysis
Buzz about Obamacare exposes bugs in the system
The websites should allow consumers to compare the plans, which range from low-cost “bronze” insurance with minimal coverage to high-cost “platinum” programs.
Jon M. Hager, executive director of Nevada’s market, said roughly one-fourth of residents in his state were uninsured for a laundry list of reasons, but that obstacles to affordable coverage would fall away through Obamacare.
He said a Spanish-language version of the Nevada exchange will not be ready until November — officials are building it from the ground up to avoid problems from translating the English version — and warned that there will be “hiccups, errors and other bugs that occur.”
Members of his staff checked in on the state’s online portal after reporters on a conference call said they could not log on at the hour the site was supposed to go live. The delay lasted 17 minutes.
“I apologize for that,” Mr. Hager said.
By midafternoon, the Nevada exchange counted more than 1,000 accounts on the site.
The Department of Health and Human Services said Tuesday that all customers can look up information and start the enrollment process through the federal website — or CuidadoDeSalud.gov for Spanish-speaking consumers — no matter where they live.
A D.C. resident, for example, would be directed to the D.C. Health Link Web page, but a resident across the Potomac River in Virginia would remain on the federal site because the Obama administration is responsible for the commonwealth’s exchange.
In the midst of Tuesday’s hiccups, advocates for the law said it should be considered a soft opening with increased interest over time. They touted early interest on the federal exchanges as “pent-up demand” and a backhand endorsement of Obamacare, despite the error messages.
“To me that says, ‘Whoa, everyone’s checking this out,’” said Will Wilson. The 59-year-old Chicago resident said he has AIDS but could not, until Obamacare began, obtain coverage related to any other health issues.
The health care law prevents insurers from rejecting people with pre-existing conditions, a key selling point of the law that also has raised questions about whether younger, healthy people are effectively subsidizing the care of older, sicker patients in the individual market.
Republicans tried to delay key portions of Obamacare last week and into Monday night, but the Senate balked at any negotiations over the president’s signature law. The resulting government shutdown did not affect the administration’s rollout of the exchanges.
Mila Kofman, executive director of the D.C. Health Benefit Exchange Authority, said the fervor about a mile down the road on Capitol Hill was irrelevant to her team’s efforts.
“For us,” she said, “it’s never been political.”
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Tom Howell Jr. covers politics for The Washington Times. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Russia should be booted from FIFA World Cup, senators say
- New tool helps figure Obamacare penalties
- Tax-prep firms pitch in, cash in on Obamacare
- Obama tries to reassure Hispanics on Obamacare
- Half of uninsured look to Obamacare exchanges for coverage
Latest Blog Entries
TWT Video Picks
Taxpayers must pay the freight for over-budget train projects
- Kim Jong-un calls for execution of 33 Christians
- Rand Paul wins 2014 CPAC straw poll, Ted Cruz finishes a distant second
- Bill Clinton cashes in on struggling nonprofit hospital
- Paul takes veiled shot at Cruz, says GOP must focus on growth
- Bill Clinton poses for photo with Bunny Ranch prostitutes
- Obama engages in Ukraine diplomacy from Fla. resort as Russia digs in
- U.S. pilot scares off Iranians with 'Top Gun'-worthy stunt: 'You really ought to go home'
- EDITORIAL: As jobs vanish, Obama wants more of same
- CPAC 2014 straw poll results
- CARSON: Why did the founders give us the Second Amendment?
Pope Francis meets his 'mini-me'
Celebrity deaths in 2014
Winter storm hits states — again