After an inauspicious start, the fragile, unstable system riddled with flaws known as Obamaware has crashed and shattered into a million pieces. Anyone could have told you that launching it now was a bad idea, and in fact it should probably never have been launched at all. But that's a different story.
The federal insurance exchange website, on the other hand, is beginning to show improvement as traffic tapers down to manageable levels and bugs get worked out. Like you'd expect from one of the most mind-numbingly complex online information systems ever built, it's going to take time and patience to work out the bugs at all levels. Who knew that building an online interface connecting five federal agencies, 50 statewide health systems, hundreds of insurance companies, thousands of hospital networks and millions of individual enrollees in order to share enormous amounts of tax, policy, claim and medical coverage data would be troublesome? To me the most astonishing thing is the astonishment itself. Republican outrage, on the other hand, is the most predictable outcome of all. Water is wet, trees are tall and Republicans predict doom for Obama policies.
At least one user in Texas was able to sign up and review plan options.
"Licensed navigators" in Florida say the system is slow, but it has finally started working.
Reuters is reporting progress this morning, saying that login issues have dissipated, though registration problems remain.
"We have seen progress every day," said Nasim Zahran of Miami's Borinquen Medical Health Care Centers, where hundreds of people are waiting to enroll in coverage.
"Today was the first day that we got all the way to the last screen. But then an error screen popped up saying the site would be down for 72 hours," Zahran said.
Virginia-based insurer Optima Health reported receiving their first applications for insurance filed through Healthcare.gov in the last few days.
"We, ourselves, have been testing and we're seeing the same difficulties that folks have been telling us on the phone," said spokesman Bobby Pearson.
Cigna said it has been able to sign up people through the federal exchange, without providing further details.
The first Delaware resident purchases a plan through the state's co-op exchange.
North Carolina. Randolph Hospital's outreach program, plagued by early problems with the exchange system, has now begun connecting with would-be beneficiaries. Watauga County residents & reporters are able to review plan premiums in their area.
Insurers in Charleston report no problems with the site, few enrollments and lots of interest, window-shopping.
Lafayette, Indiana reports continuing problems with registration, but slow progress in getting info to would-be enrollees.
Wyoming. Two state ensurers report that enrollments through the website have begun, although they won't disclose numbers.
Michigan. Glitches have eased, thousands are browsing and hundreds have enrolled so far.
All this despite the Republican efforts to shut the government down and massively increase the cost of servicing its debt. Meanwhile, state exchanges are doing somewhat better:
In state-run exchanges, WSJ reports 100,000 completed applications and 38,000 full enrollments so far.
Gosh, what if the "epic failure" of healthcare.gov is really just a temporary, predictable setback for a uniquely gigantic IT project? I guess those cheerleading the Republicans and praying for failure will have to move on to some new toy in the coming weeks.