The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, informally known as Obamacare, launches Tuesday as planned, despite a government shutdown over federal spending. But glitches in the rollout have already caused delays in exchanges in at least two states.
Maryland posted, "Please visit the site again at 12 noon," as the website for enrollment crashed earlier this morning. Minnesota has reportedly done the same, advising Minnesotans to try enrolling online in the afternoon. Washington, D.C. has been slammed with computer jams that caused a delay for small business enrollment.
Washington anticipated such malfunctions, which is why there is a target six-month enrollment period. Like the online launch of its predecessors — Medicare, Social Security, etc. — it is going to take a few months for all the wrinkles to "smooth out," according to President Obama.
Navigating the healthcare system, however, is not going to be easy, glitches aside. To combat the complications of registering for an appropriate insurance plan, the Obama administration has set up a network of "navigators" to help people through an arduous 45-minute process.
In the end, sacrificing a lunch hour to enroll in a health plan costing even less than expected is not a high price to pay.