No matter what your opinion on the “Affordable Healthcare for America Act” (AKA: Obamacare) – its very existence being an indication of the Socialist Dystopia this country is fast approaching, or, a necessary program to correct the unsustainable rise of healthcare costs in America – one thing is for certain: its accompanying website (an essential part of its success) has been a unmitigated disaster.
Sure, at first it was possible to spin the 90% of visitors to the website receiving “ERROR” messages as a sign that so many people were interested in participating that the freeze-up was just the system being over-burdened, and thus proof of its success. Three weeks later and a visit to healthcare.gov (the online marketplace for non-insured persons to purchase coverage) will still crash at some point before finalizing your payment.
Healthcare.gov’s proper operation is vital to the success of Obamacare. Younger Americans, those more comfortable with a computer and less likely to suffer chronic (savings draining) illnesses, will be the foundation of what is now an obligatory healthcare policy.
Every American is now required to have health coverage – either through their employer (as nearly 149 million Americans do), federal programs like Medicare & Medicaid (which offers limited availability based on financial means) or through personal coverage (which, at around $800 a month, would have been prohibitively expensive).
Healthcare.gov is meant to accomplish two things:
1. Provide a marketplace for Americans to purchase competitively priced healthcare coverage.
2. Assist non-insured Americans in fulfilling their (now) legal obligation to be covered.
An official figure of how many people have successfully purchased coverage on the exchange has not been made public (perhaps because the figure will confirm just how bad things are).
But an even larger point needs to be made on this website’s failure: it is an online marketplace, similar to the complexity of Amazon and EBAY, but obligatory for millions of Americans to utilize, and it’s a dud right out of the gate.
Congressional leaders have called for the head of Katherine Sebelius, Secretary of Health and Human Services (architects of the online exchange), while the president, flanked by fainting on-lookers, admits the website “hasn’t worked as smoothly as it’s supposed to work”.
But at least they have a back-up phone number you can call, should you be encountering trouble online: 1-800-F1U-CKYO.
Joseph Bono is an American Conservative by birth, an Independent by choice. He’s recently worked aside Roger Helmer MEP as his Policy Advisor, and is currently living with his wife in Washington DC. He prefers his home town, New York City. He tweets at @JoeBonoDC“