Trying to sign up for Obamacare the old-fashioned way — paper, pen or telephone?
Good luck with that.
With the supposedly state-of-the-art $600 million HealthCare.gov portal malfunctioning, President Barack Obama is urging Americans to go ahead and try to get health coverage by mailing in a paper application, calling the helpline or seeking help from one of the trained “assisters.”
But the truth is those applications — on paper or by phone — have to get entered into the same lousy website that is causing the problems in the first place. And the people processing the paper and calls don’t have any cyber secret passage to duck around that. They too have to deal with all the frustrations of HealthCare.gov — full-time.
“I feel like we’re sort of back in the era of control-alt-delete where we’re trying to figure out the different tricks that facilitate people’s enrollment,” said Jennifer Ng’andu, director of health policy for the National Council of La Raza, a Hispanic advocacy group that has been helping to publicize the Affordable Care Act.
The administration for the first time on Friday said it expected the health exchange website serving 36 states should be in good shape in about a month. “We’re confident by the end of November, HealthCare.gov will be smooth for a vast majority of users,” said Jeff Zients, the former White House aide and management expert brought into oversee the repair drive.
And they were “confident” the roll-out would be, er, “ready to roll” on October 1st, too. In spite ofmultiple warnings that the site wasn’t ready for launch. Fail.