Daily Video

October 24, 2013

Healthcare Web Site Plagued with Technical Bugs


Since the Affordable Care Act’s online health care exchanges launched on October 1, the exchange website, www.healthcare.gov, has been fraught with technical problems that have made it difficult for Americans to enroll.

Republican leaders used the opportunity to batter the Obama administration over the bad start.

“The rollout of Obamacare is nothing short of a debacle, and the American people are now fearful of their health care,” said House Majority Leader Eric Cantor.

House Speaker John Boehner promised there will be investigations. Congress has ordered officials to testify at a hearing Thursday, October 24.

“I think the biggest part of Congress’ job is to provide proper oversight of the executive branch of government, and whether it’s Obamacare or issues over at the Department of Defense, it’s our job to hold them accountable,” said Boehner.

The president acknowledged the problems in a speech at the White House, and said he is assembling some of the best tech talent in the country to fix the problems.

“We have got people working overtime in a tech surge to boost capacity and address the problems,” he said.

In the meantime, he urged those trying to sign up to use call centers as a substitute for the Web site.

Warm up questions
  1. What do you already know about the Afforable Care Act?
    • Who is it for?
    • How is it going to be enforced?
    • Who supports it and who doesn’t?
  2. What Web sites do you most often use? Do they ever have “glitches”? How do you feel when you cannot use a Web site that you needed?
  3. Rank these topics from most important in the lives of people living in the U.S. to least important. Make sure you can explain why you ranked the topics the way you did.
    • Immigration
    • Gun control
    • U.S. Budget
    • Health Care
Discussion questions
  1. Do you think that putting the information for the ACA online is the best way to present it to the public? Why or why not?
  2. If you were President Obama what would you be telling the people of the U.S. who are frustrated about the Web site?
  3. If you were in charge of the ACA Web site what would you do first to help people navigate the site with less problems? Look at the website as a class https://www.healthcare.gov/ and evaluate it pointing out its strengths and weaknesses.
Writing Prompt

Put yourself in the shoes of a person who does not currently have health insurance and wants to find it through the ACA, but is having trouble with the Web site. Write about your experience and include how you feel as well as your hopes for the process.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.9-10.3 Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, well-chosen details, and well-structured event sequences.

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