CA's lie about public interest in Obamacare just the preview

CA's lie about public interest in Obamacare just the preview

California health exchange officials grossly overstated the number of online hits it received Tuesday during the rollout of Obamacare.obamacare-this-is-going-to-hurt

I'm shocked.

According to the Los Angeles Times, “state officials said the Covered California website got 645,000 hits during the first day of enrollment, far fewer than the 5 million it reported Tuesday.”

“Dana Howard, a spokesman for Covered California, said the error was the result of internal miscommunication,” the LA Times reported. “Someone misspoke and thought it was indeed 5 million hits. That was incorrect,” Howard said.

Imagine me rolling my eyes. Apparently someone “misspoke.”

The first place I saw estimates of online interest in Covered CA was the Daily Mail UK:

“California, the ultimate blue state whose federal lawmakers voted overwhelmingly in support of Obamacare, turned less than 1 per cent of its Web visits into 'Covered California' participants on Tuesday.”

'We had over 5.7 million hits to our website as of 3 p.m. yesterday,' Covered California spokeswoman Kelsey Caldwell told MailOnline Wednsday.

'7,700 consumers began their application process yesterday. … 4,143 applications are pending,' she added. 'We received 23,269 calls yesterday to our service center.'

Caldwell couldn't say how many of the 5.7 million website hits were from unique Californians. But assuming 712,500 online visitors saw eight different Web pages each, the sign-up rate was 0.58 per cent.”

I frequently have to go to news outlets overseas to get any reporting on what's happening in the U.S.

California has 38 million residents. Whether it was 712,000 or 645,000 people who contacted the health exchange on Tuesday, day-one of Obamacare sign-ups, the new computer system couldn't even handle those inquiries.

Government officials have had three years to prepare for this. It's particularly ironic this is happening in  California, with Silicon Valley, home to many of the world's largest and most successful technology and computer companies.

A little white lie

“People calling for information continued to face wait times of 30 minutes or more,” the LA Times said. “Some call-center representatives at the exchange told people they were having trouble accessing the state system themselves, further slowing down the enrollment process.

“The state exchange had cited the 5 million figure as a sign of strong consumer interest and a major reason people had so much difficulty using its $313-million online enrollment system,” the LA Times reported.

Perhaps what really happened is the health exchange may have put out the 5 million figure to cover up the failure of the system on day-one.

The state took the Covered CA webpage offline Tuesday evening because of technical glitches. It was back up the next morning.

Health exchange officials' lie about the first official day in administrating Covered CA for Obamacare is only a preview of government health care.


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