Health insurance exchanges attract controversy
The controversy surrounding health insurance in the U.S. continues to grow as federal officials look to place blame for the technical difficulties that insurance exchanges have been experiencing throughout the country. Exchanges went live on October 1, but many were plagued with serious problems that prevented people from accessing exchange websites and applying for insurance coverage. These problems were not restricted to state-based exchanges, of course, as they also crippled the federal insurance gateway, HealthCare.gov.
Exchanges experience technical difficulties
When exchanges began open enrollment earlier this month, millions of people throughout the U.S. flocked to exchange websites in order to find out more information on the health insurance that was offered through these programs. The massive amount of online traffic proved too much for many exchange sites to handle, crippling these sites and stopping many from applying for health insurance coverage. Some states were quick to resolve the initial problems associated with their exchanges, but many people have issued harsh criticism against the Affordable Care Act in the wake of these technical difficulties.
Lawmakers look to place blame
Federal lawmakers are not keen to let the matter slide, especially as people throughout the country have been issuing their displeasure so aggressively. As such, CGI Federal, one of the IT firms responsible for the technology behind health insurance exchanges, has been called to appear before the House Energy and Commerce Committee. The firm will be tasked with providing insight on the problems exchanges have been experiencing since open enrollment began. Cheryl Campbell, senior vice president of CGI Federal, notes that her firm was not the only one to play a role in developing the exchange software and should not be held accountable for the problems that have been brought to light.
Bugs may be an unavoidable problem when it comes to new technology and software
Technology can be a complex subject, especially when it comes to the deployment of new software. It is common for new software to experience significant problems when it is first launched, especially when it is deployed on a national scale. Those criticizing the Affordable Care Act, and by extension the Obama Administration, argue that the federal government should have been more aggressive with testing exchanges in order to ensure that they are free of glitches. It is impossible to iron out what glitches may exist in software without opening it up for use by an audience, however.