Americans may be able to purchase health insurance today through the Affordable Care Act’s online exchanges, but that doesn’t mean it’ll be easy.
MSNBC’s Mara Schiavocampo spent upward of a half-hour trying to verify her personal information through New York’s marketplace before hitting a point where she said her “patience would be exhausted.” The show’s executive producer also tried to shop on New Jersey’s exchange, but got a message reading: “The system is down at the moment.” And they’re not the only ones.
State exchanges across the country were experiencing technical delays Tuesday as millions of consumers attempted to purchase health insurance for the first time, at the same time. While health care officials and President Obama anticipated those issues to arise on the first day, Kansas Republican Rep. Tim Huelskamp said the delays signaled that Obamacare was “not ready for prime time.”
Experts are quick to caution, however, that just because Obamacare is off to a rocky start doesn’t mean it can’t win the race.
“This will become relatively easy for people,” said Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, former White House health policy advisor, to MSNBC Tuesday. “Right now, in the opening days with lots of people crashing, trying to figure out what it’s like, we’ll probably have more glitches than we’ll have in a week or two. And I think every day, it’s going to get better.”