President Tries to Rally Effort to Salvage Online Health Insurance Exchanges

by Patrick Riley 22 Oct 2013
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On a beautiful fall morning, with a backdrop of the rose garden, which irionically is usually the exact landscape where the President accepts the resignation of a cabinet member, Barack Obama made his case to the American people to "not give up" on the feds Website ( He admitted failure and even remarked it was "unacceptable" to him and "no one is madder."

But, there was no revelation of what exactly the problem(s) are or when we can expect things to be functioning as they were guaranteed to do, just a month ago. More importantly, there was not one hint of enrollment data for the feds site, which is running in 36 states. Yet, HHS is demanding daily reports from states running their own exchanges, and getting them by the way, on their enrollment status citing transparency of tax dollars for the American people as precedent, as an infusion of federal money helped build those state sites.

Meanwhile, a very nervous, Kathleen Sebelius, HHS Secretary, was in the audience. And when I heard a lady had almost collapsed during the President's extended speech, I immediately assumed it must be Ms. Sebelius. As it turned out, it was a pregnant woman directly behiind the President and to his credit he interrupted his remarks to assist her. America may have witnessed on live TV how the Affordable Care Act is helping women with this sound bite. Yet, Republicans and Democrats cannot wait to get her on the Hill to answer questions about the failed launch October 1. This showdown looks like it may fit into her day planner for next week. It will be the hottest ticket in town.

So, what have we learned? We are not quite sure yet as we do not know much more than the results we get when we log on to and sit, for hours, waiting to create an account. So far, the government's answer to this Tsunami of failure is to add another icon on the homepage that you can click on now. It gives you a phone number to call for assistance, the same number the President urged us to use yesterday in his speech. I guess we have come full-circle now.

Jay Carney, the White House Press Secretary urged patience and did not rule out an extension of the open enrollment period beyond March 31st. Maybe by then they will throw in a weekend for two at Camp David if Americans will enroll online, by phone, by carrier  pigeon, or just settle in for the battle for survival of the Patient Protection Affordable Care Act.

You can follow me on @Patrick_FrostHC and continue to read this blog to learn more about this historic moment in American history.

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Comments (1)

By  klara andrian
klara, klara

15 Jun 2017 04:35
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