Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Easy Does It

Via TPM, the White House is hoping that there isn’t a huge deluge of people trying to hit the healthcare.gov site next week.

The Obama administration is quietly asking health care advocacy groups not to send a flood of consumers to HealthCare.gov next week, pushing instead for a more phased approach that won’t overwhelm the website that the administration has pledged would be fully functional by Dec. 1.

The message is being communicated in private meetings, including one held Monday, a senior administration official told TPM. Groups like Enroll America and Planned Parenthood, which are among the leading organizations that are helping people sign up for coverage under Obamacare, are some of those to be targeted.

“We want to make sure that those who are reaching consumers at scale know that this isn’t like you flip the switch and everyone can come back on the first day,” the official said.

The plan would serve two purposes. First, it would lighten the load on HealthCare.gov next week, the first after the administration’s self-imposed Dec. 1 deadline to get it fully functioning. Limiting the number of people who are coming to the site should help prevent any embarrassing outages. And second, preventing outages would ensure that people who are returning to the site after being frustrated by its early problems will have a better experience.

In an interesting counterpoint, there are already people standing in line for Black Friday sales.

The first lines for Black Friday were already starting Monday in Central Florida — four days before the doors even open.

Local 6 found shoppers willing to put up with several days of rain and cold outside the Best Buy on East Colonial Drive near Semoran.

“It’s crazy, it’s really crazy, but its fun,” said Evelyn Pizarro. “We have our tent and our chairs and our family.”

We have people who can’t wait thirty seconds for a webpage to load, who stand in front of a microwave oven and yell “Hurry up!” and who think instant gratification takes too long, and yet we have the same people waiting four days to get 10% off on an Xbox.

Ain’t that America.