HEALTH

Affordable Care Act: Problems continue to plague healthcare.gov

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FREDERICKSBURG, Va. (WJLA) - More than two weeks after its launch, problems continue to plague the rollout of the Affordable Care Act, better known as ObamaCare. Beyond the political rhetoric there is some concern that not enough is being done.

Since Oct. 1, healthcare.gov has experienced glitches and many Americans have been unable to enroll.

As of last Friday in Maryland, 1,121 people had enrolled. D.C. has only released the first week's numbers - 89 people asked to be invoiced for a healthcare plan. As for healthcare.gov, the site the bulk of the country is using, the White House refused to give numbers and frankly it's not clear if the website even works.

“I’m very disappointed. That’s the word for today, just plain disappointed.”

Johnnie Wood has been trying to use healthcare.gov to buy insurance since Oct. 1.

“I’ve made 75 to 100 attempts over a 17-day period,” he says.

But after all that, he still hasn’t been able to compare plans, let alone enroll. He and other Americans across the country have been stopped by glitches on the website.

“As far as putting together a program, I find it unconscionable that something of this magnitude failed so miserably," Wood says.

“They’ve had three and a half years to get this straight. The technology is not getting it right and I think that’s inexcusable,” Rep. Gerry Connolly, D-Va., told NewsChannel 8.

“ObamaCare is not just a website, the website is simply into a portal virtual marketplace," Jay Carney, White House Press Secretary, says.

But healthcare.gov was intended to be the primary way for people in 36 states to shop for and buy insurance mandated under ObamaCare. The site has not worked properly, even after the administration announced it would be taken offline during off-peak hours for maintenance.

The White House won’t say when the problems will be fixed, but for Wood, perhaps there is a reason to be optimistic. On Thursday, he was able to save his data on the site for the final time, but he still can't shop for insurance because he's waiting for his identify to be verified.

The Department of Health and Human Services will release figures in November for the first month of healthcare.gov. D.C. plans to update monthly, but will release fresh numbers on Monday. Maryland is releasing data weekly with an update expected Friday.

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