Morning Joe, 10/21/13, 7:45 AM ET

Questions mount over problematic launch

Ezra Klein comments on the healthcare launch saying the website, “simply isn’t working.” He breaks down the problems with the site and the panel discusses.

These aren’t glitches, Obamacare is broken says Ezra Klein

On Monday, President Obama will try to sell the “tech surge” his administration has promised to tackle the continuing technical problems with Obamacare.

But Washington Post healthcare reporter and commenter Ezra Klein pushed back against the administration’s reference to the problem as bugs and technical problems.

“These aren’t glitches, the website, to a first approximation, simply isn’t working” Klein said on Monday’s Morning Joe. Early traffic problems that occurred when the site was overwhelmed by visitors on the first few days may have actually masked the public from the larger problems, he said, like garbled or false information being sent to insurers.

“No one beta-tested the site, which is almost criminal,” the Huffington Post’s Sam Stein said.

“They keep using the word unacceptable. It’s not unacceptable, it’s outrageous,” Mike Barnicle said.“This is the president’s singular achievement, and to be so reticent about the problems that have gone is kind of surprising.”

The White House is touting big numbers—19 million visited the federal exchange in the first few weeks and the Associated Press is reporting that nearly half a million have begun applications—but the administration has declined to detail enrollment numbers.

The question of enrollment numbers has come up “literally every day at the White House briefing,” the Associated Press’ White House correspondent Julie Pace said.

“We know that they have these numbers,” she said, calling the administration’s piecemeal data “selectively transparent.”

Monday’s event will be the first event of a cross-country tour of administration officials encouraging people to sign up for health insurance through the Obamacare exchanges, NBC News has confirmed, targeting areas with high percentages of uninsured.

Obama is “frustrated” by the continuing problems, Treasury Sec. Jack Lew said on Sunday.

 

These aren't glitches, Obamacare is broken says Ezra Klein