Obamacare launch hits early hitch as online traffic snarls up sites
(Reuters) - The United States government launched the centerpiece of President Barack Obama's landmark health-care reform on Tuesday, opening new insurance marketplaces across the country for millions of uninsured Americans, but technical glitches prevented early access to many of their websites.
The opening of the state marketplaces, or exchanges, went ahead despite a partial federal government shutdown precipitated by Republican opposition to the health-care law that deadlocked a spending Bill in Congress.
But a federally run exchange for consumers in 36 states began posting error messages for at least 24 of them soon after the system opened for enrollment at 8am Eastern Daylight Time, citing online traffic as a reason for the difficulties. An administration official said experts were aware of the issue and were working on it.
"Consumers who need help can also contact the call center, use the live chat function or go to localhelp.healthcare.gov to find an in-person assistor in their community," the US Department of Health and Human Services said in a statement.