The technical troubles with Obamacare’s exchanges are bad enough that even supporters are turning critical. The Washington Post’s Ezra Klein, a longtime champion of the health law, hasdeclared the launch so far a “failure” and a “disaster.” Former White House press secretary Robert Gibbs is asking whether anyone will be fired over the botched rollout.
But here’s the thing: The serious problems that have gotten the most attention so far may only be the beginning of the headaches for the exchanges.
Right now, the most visible problems are concentrated on the user end, in the registration and enrollment process. Lots of people still can’t create accounts in the federal exchange system at all. Others get error messages or hang-ups within the application process. It seems pretty clear that, roughly two weeks after launch, most potential users are effectively locked out of the federal exchange system—and most of those who aren’t actually locked out aren’t able to complete the transaction process.