First the government shutdown, now a website that barely works. Obamacare’s detractors are having a field day with a website that just flat out doesn’t cut the mustard. With hundreds of millions of Americans mandated to have health insurance my year’s end, the primary means by which to sign up for health care has been nothing short of a comedy of errors. It’s being reported that nine out of ten people have experienced issues when looking to HealthCare.gov to signup for insurance.
Obamacare website back online
Today, the government announced that the site was back online after a hosting problem rendered it unavailable for the bulk of yesterday and a fair portion of this morning. While the site was built using over 50 contractors, its believed that the latest round of issues is traceable to one company, Verizon Terremark.
“Verizon Terremark successfully resolved the issue with the networking component overnight, and, as of 7 a.m. ET this morning, the Data Services Hub was fully operational,” said Department of Health and Human Services spokeswoman Joanne Peters.
“The HealthCare.gov technical team continued troubleshooting one issue with the online account creation process in the application and has now opened the online application and enrollment tools back up to consumers,” Peters said.
While the Obama administration maintains that health care for all is a necessity, they are making it far to easy to criticize the program with the continued issues with the website. The administration has repeatedly said that all issues will be ironed out by the end of November.
Julie Bataille on technical issue
Julie Bataille, director of communications for CMS, said government technicians continued to work on a problem after 7 a.m. to make the application process go more smoothly.
Following a host of issues last week, the government was forced to overhaul much of its system.
“We reconfigured various system components” to improve performance, she said. That means people will be able to see insurance plans in seconds, not minutes, Bataille said.
“We are experiencing technical difficulties and hope to have them resolved soon,” a statement at the site said. “Please try again later.”
Following this, HHS officials said that Terremark, a subsidiary of Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ), was to blame for the latest problems.
Obamacare webite problem caused by data hub
The problem, HHS officials said, was with Terremark, the Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) subsidiary that hosts the government’s website and data hub. By Sunday evening, that problem had been fixed, but the website went through a series of testing before going live again Monday afternoon.
“Terremark had a network failure that is impacting a number of their clients including HealthCare.gov,” Peters said Sunday. HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius “spoke with the CEO of Verizon this afternoon to discuss the situation and they committed to fixing the problem as soon as possible.”
This, unfortunately, also led to a domino effect that saw other companies that use Terremark’s services to experience issues of their own.
A failure in a networking component caused the failure and has apparently affected other companies that use Terremark’s services.
The administration is fighting against the clock. December 15th marks the deadline that people will need to enroll in order to be covered by January 1st. For others, they will have until the end of March to purchase insurance in order to comply with the individual mandate.