Outages Plague ObamaCare Web Site, Health and Human Services

The federal government’s website where individuals can buy insurance as a part of ObamaCare experienced another setback on Sunday, when a mechanism to verify the identity of applicants was unavailable.  Officials with the US Department of Health and Human Services blamed the outage on Terremark, a subsidiary of Verizon Communications.

“Today, Terremark had a network failure that is impacting a number of their clients, including healthcare.gov,” noted Joanne Peters on Sunday.  Peters is a spokesperson for Health and Human Services.  “[Health and Human Services] 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.”

“Our engineers have been working with [Health and Human Services] and other technology companies to identify and address the root cause of the issue,” said Jeffrey Nelson, a spokesperson for Verizon.  “It will be fixed as quickly as possible.”

The outage on Sunday is only the most recent setback for the health exchange web site, which launched on October 1.  Those setbacks have included the inability of the web site to handle the number of users attempting to purchase insurance, leading to the site being slow or completely unresponsive, as well as the web site miscalculating insurance premiums for users.

Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary of Health and Human Services, is scheduled to testify before the House Energy and Commerce Committee on Wednesday about the numerous issues that have plagued the site since it launched, despite millions of taxpayer dollars being spent on the site.

“The incompetence in building this website is staggering,” noted Representative Marsha Blackburn, R-Tennessee.  Blackburn is a member of the panel that will hear Sebelius’ testimony before Congress.

Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal noted that creating the web site to allow individuals to buy insurance for ObamaCare should have been “the easy part.”  He believes the more significant problems will begin in January when insured attempt to exercise their coverage.

“The real problems will be when it’s time to schedule your grandmother’s cancer surgery,” said Jindal.  Jindal also noted issues like ObamaCare are what happens when any government grows too large and attempts to provide services that it has not business providing.

“This is symptomatic of a liberal ideology that believes government should be running our health care.  We don’t need the government running health care,” continued Jindal.

Individuals who have been able to sign up for insurance as required under ObamaCare are expressing their dissatisfaction as the end result, as their new ObamaCare insurance is often more expensive than the insurance they had previously.  These insurance premium increases come in spite of President Obama promising that ObamaCare will save Americans money.

Many individuals are also upset that they may have to pay a penalty on their federal income tax in April for failing to sign up for insurance under ObamaCare, since the failure to sign up was caused by the issues of the ObamaCare web site.

Despite the problems with ObamaCare, Republicans have not had the opportunity to capitalize on those issues when it comes to voters.  Republicans hope that will change when voters hit the polls for the congressional election in 2014 and the presidential election in 2016.

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Mark has been a contributor to legal web sites related to bankruptcy, tax, and criminal law since 2011. He has an Accounting degree from Texas A&M University.