Topics: Obamacare

Hill columnist's pro-Obamacare article contradicted by Hill's front-page reporting

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Beltway Confidential,Sean Higgins,Obamacare,Health Care,Analysis,Media

Liberal pundit Bill Press might want to call ahead to the Hill's editors the next time he sends them a column. If he had done so, it might have saved him from embarrassing himself in his latest column.

On page 17 of Tuesday's edition, Press writes the following regarding the Obamacare roll-out:

"So many people, an estimated 8 million, tried to visit the site in the first two days, that the system crashed. There’s no excuse for that, but it does show how much pent-up demand there is among working Americans for basic healthcare for themselves and their families."

That has been a popular argument for liberals: Obamacare's troubles are just a matter of so many people rushing to get it. That isn't true, however; the Obamacare website crashed for a different reason.

As a headline on the Hill's front page in the same edition states: "ObamaCare site's collapse is seen as structural, not just heavy traffic."

The online version of the story is titled simply "ObamaCare crash not just traffic." The article begins:

Problems plaguing online enrollment in ObamaCare are not just due to high traffic, but are being compounded by structural problems at healthcare.gov, the federal government portal where people can shop for medical insurance.

The Obama administration is now scrambling to fix technical troubles that contributed to a bruising debut last week for the new insurance marketplaces.

“I think there’s growing consensus that it’s not just volume,” said Caroline Pearson, a vice president at the consulting firm Avalere Health who focuses on the healthcare law.

Further down in the story, it cites technical experts who describe a "long list of other flaws" in the site's construction and coding. A software engineer named James Turner told the Hill: "It’s probably the most broken release — as opposed to a beta site — that I have ever seen."

Ouch.

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