To the editor of THE EAGLE:
On Oct. 1, I, like millions of other Americans, attempted to enroll for the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) on the government website. After numerous attempts during the first week, I decided to wait, as I had plenty of time, until the system was fixed before trying again. Then, just yesterday (Oct. 21), I was listening to President Obama’s Rose Garden address on the subject of enrollment and heard him state that we need not wait for the website to be fixed before enrolling as we could enroll over the telephone, and he provided the 800 number.
I dutifully called and after a few tries managed to get through to a pleasant women who advised me to seek answers to the questions I posed to her on the website. In an attempt to get my questions finally answered now that I had a live body on the line, I stated that as I was not tech-savvy, would she go online and provide me the answers to a couple of questions? She stated that she could not as the website was not functioning. The experience was as surreal to me as anything out of "Alice in Wonderland."
These experiences prompt two concerns. First, if the government cannot get a website up online, something that industry does every day, even with a three-year lead time, will it be able to administer such a large program? Second, and perhaps more important to the viability of the program, will young people become so frustrated with not being able to enroll online, as this is the way they do so much in their lives, that they will elect to pay the $95 fine for not having insurance which, except for garnering someone’s income tax rebate, the government cannot collect anyway? MAURICE LAMB