A crush of health insurance buyers and lookie-loos are predictably knocking over websites today, frustrating consumers who want to sign up for coverage at a health care exchange. But there’s no need to rush. Coverage doesn’t start until Jan. 1, and you have until Dec. 15 to sign up. So no need to keep hitting refresh. Coverage you buy tomorrow, or next week, will work just as good as coverage you buy today. In fact, no doubt, the experience will be less frustrating, as some of the kinks will be ironed out.
There are kinks. Readers trying to visit California’s exchange site, as well as HealthCare.gov, report very sluggish service. The state of Washington’s exchange site was unavailable, most likely overwhelmed by web traffic.
Unlike the iPhone, there will be temporary shortage of the gold model. “Try again tomorrow,” is a pretty good strategy.
But while we are on the subject of wasting time, it’s depressing that media coverage of the government shutdown is running perhaps 5-to-1 vs coverage of the health care exchange launch. The shutdown is a largely symbolic gesture, designed as a misdirection play to hijack the national conversation. Major media can’t help itself, with all those reporters crowding into meaningless press conferences in and around the Capitol. But you don’t have to fall for it. Spend at least much time learning about the exchanges as do reading about whether or not the zoo pandas are being fed, and deciding for yourself, if they are good or bad, and America will be a better place.