Nevada Officials Knew the Silver State Health Exchange Was Not Working Last October

In response to ObamaCare Claims A Victim in Harry Reid’s Backyard:

If this story is accurate, and it seems several people close to it believe it is, then Linda Rolain’s death is partly a result of her inability to sign up for insurance prior to the December deadline for January coverage. That’s believable since a lot of people were unable to sign up for coverage in Nevada thanks to a glitchy, untested and incomplete exchange rolled out by Xerox.

Last October I wrote the first in depth piece on the problems with the Silver State Health Exchange. As part of that piece I interviewed a spokesman for Xerox who told me the reports full of warnings of imminent failure were only intended to focus attention on the problem. He also told me that five days was plenty of time for final site testing prior to launch. The software quality experts I spoke to for the piece did not agree with that assessment.

Meanwhile, it was immediately clear to everyone trying to use the site that it was a technical disaster. Here are some of the comments I collected from the exchange’s official Facebook page last October:

  • Can’t sign up if we can’t even apply…each day I get one step
    closer….today I finally got a verification code, but can’t get past
    the “accept terms” page. Needs to be operational!!!
  • I have had to call multiple times since October 1, and I have
    yet to be able to access the website. The farthest I have gotten is to
    register. I have never been able to log in. I know there are glitches
    and it’s new… but this is so frustrating!
  • I am getting terribly frustrated…I cannot connect to a live
    person on the phone not do you respond to my e-mails…I try to create
    an account…first I get error messages then I’m told my account is
  • Come on guys, really? STILL stuck on the security question. Can you PLEASE get this working
  • Could you at least make some kind of news announcement at to
    when the health link really will be up and running. It is VERY
    DISCOURAGING to go to the site everyday and watch my computer try to
    connect to nothing.
  • I have been trying since October 1st to shop for insurance, I
    try everyday and I still cannot get passed the security question it just
    erases my answer and goes no where. I am losing hope and dont know what
    else to do. Are people really getting though?
  • This is all I get when trying to log in both yesterday and
    today! “You have encountered an unresolvable error. The issue has been
    logged and administrators have been notified. You will be notified by
    email when the situation is resolved.”

Apparently one of the people trying unsuccessfully to create an account and buy insurance was Linda Rolain. According to her husband, she tried to sign up in November for coverage starting in January (when she was diagnosed with brain cancer) but was unable to overcome the technical glitches. She wound up signing up for a plan that started in March but because of a communication failure didn’t get treatment until May. According to Rolain’s insurance broker, her doctor said that delay made extending her life through proper treatment impossible.