UN­AF­FORD­ABLE, UN­FATH­OMABLE ACT

The Washington Times Weekly - - Politics -

Lest we for­get, CGI Fed­eral — the Cana­dian com­pany that de­signed the fal­ter­ing Af­ford­able Care Act sign-up site — was paid $93 mil­lion by the Depart­ment of Health and Hu­man Ser­vices to build the online desti­na­tion. Another $684 mil­lion in tax­payer funds was spent to pro­mote the health care law in all 50 states. How many peo­ple have signed up? Of­fi­cials at the fed­eral agency have said they won’t re­veal any hard num­bers un­til Novem­ber.

A few early es­ti­mates have sur­faced, though. The Daily Mail of Lon­don claims that 51,000 have man­aged to es­tab­lish their ac­countsand com­pleted their en­roll­ment. At Forbes, the es­ti­mate was 30,000. The fig­ure was 35,000 ac­cord­ing to Mill­ward Brown Dig­i­tal, an in­dus­try source.

“In to­tal, 11.3 mil­lion con­sumers vis­ited the fed­eral and state ex­changes dur­ing their first week of op­er­a­tion. Un­for­tu­nately, what started as a fire hose of in­ter­est, re­sulted in only a small trickle of ac­tual health care en­roll­ments,” says Matt Pace, who an­a­lyzed the pre­lim­i­nary us­age data for the com­pany.

“Among the visi­tors to health­care.gov, 5.7 mil­lion — or 60 per­cent of to­tal visi­tors to the site — nav­i­gated to the in­di­vid­ual mar­ket­place land­ing page,” he con­tin­ues, adding,”For two-thirds of th­ese con­sumers, the site ei­ther hung or failed al­to­gether be­fore it was fi­nally taken off-line over the first weekend. Most had to aban­don their at­tempts to reg­is­ter af­ter fac­ing the gov­ern­ment’s equiv­a­lent of the blue screen of death, which no­ti­fied them of on­go­ing sys­tem main­te­nance.”

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