Congressman Shows Obamacare Exchanges Crash Minutes After Launch
Congressman Tim Huelskamp (R-KS) tweeted out a photo at 12:09 AM EST showing the Obamcare exchanges website was down, nine minutes after various federal government offices shut down and the Affordable Care Act exchanges went into effect.
In another tweet, Huelskamp wrote:
“Shutdown or no shutdown, we are ready to go, to start enrolling people tomorrow,” Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said at a press conference Monday. “We are about to make some history and some very positive history for lots of families around the country.”
According to ABC News:
Sebelius said about 52 percent of HHS employees will be deemed unessential and furloughed, but that will not affect any workers in the call centers or ”navigators” tasked with helping people to sign up. Most of the funding for the Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare, was provided in the law so it would not be affected even if the federal government shuts down.
Sebelius did say it was “hard to tell” how a prolonged shutdown could affect implementation of the law down the road, though.
“That begins to look more serious the longer it takes,” Sebelius said, noting that much of HHS’ operations will be covered under “mandatory money.”
She also acknowledged that there were bound to be “glitches” when the new insurance marketplaces come online Tuesday morning, and people begin to sign up. HHS is running all or part of the marketplace exchanges in 36 states; the others will be handled by each state individually. She compared that possibility to Apple’s latest software upgrade, which asked users to download an additional update to fix problems with the initial update.
The House voted later in the night on procedural measures in regards to the continuing resolution. Republicans are seeking to appoint a "conference committee" to come up with a funding measure. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid responded to that idea saying, "We will not go to conference with a gun to our head."