CBS: 'Unusable' ObamaCare Website's Glitches 'Troubling', 'Pervasive'

Friday's CBS This Morning zeroed in on a HealthCare.gov glitch that is jeopardizing the privacy of millions of Americans. Jan Crawford noted how the "glitches have, in fact, made the website unusable for most", but also pointed out that "the problems go beyond the enrollment process. Most troubling...insurance companies report receiving duplicate sign-up...and records of people enrolling, un-enrolling, and then, re-enrolling. Those forms contain highly personal information."

Crawford also underlined that these "duplicate and incomplete enrollment forms" are indications that the "problems are pervasive" with the ObamaCare website. [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]

The correspondent led the segment by spotlighting how "White House Press Secretary Jay Carney deflected questions Thursday over who, if anyone, should held accountable." However, unlike her Wednesday report, Crawford didn't focus on the calls for someone to be fired for the boondoggle. Instead, she continued by reporting that "as the administration scrambles, former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who helped pass ObamaCare, pressed for a quick resolution."

Crawford then detailed the beyond problematic technical difficulties with HealthCare.gov, particularly in the privacy area:

JAN CRAWFORD: The so-called glitches have, in fact, made the website unusable for most. Out of 17 million visitors, a top industry analyst estimates just 20,000 people have actually enrolled. The White House is refusing to release official enrollment numbers until next month.

However, CBS News has learned the problems go beyond the enrollment process. Most troubling, analysts say – insurance companies report receiving duplicate sign-up forms from the government; and records of people enrolling, un-enrolling, and then, re-enrolling. Those forms contain highly personal information.

Later, the CBS journalist played two clips from eHealth CEO Gary Lauer, whose company "has a contract with the federal government to help enroll people in ObamaCare...Lauer says problems with the government's website has slowed their efforts." Lauer revealed that eHealth "received the data and some other things that we needed two days before the actual implementation – so, very late September. We needed it weeks before."


Near the end of her report, Crawford found a small silver lining for the ObamaCare website, but ended by underscoring the extent of the overall problem:

CRAWFORD: Now, insurance industry experts say there's one good thing about these low enrollment numbers. I means for now, they can, kind of, manage the problems that they're seeing with the duplicate and incomplete forms. They can actually, kind of, check them one by one. But the concern...is what happens once more people eventually start registering. Remember, the target number in the first six months is seven million people.

[Update: the full transcript of Jan Crawford's report from Friday's CBS This Morning is available at MRC.org.]

Matthew Balan
Matthew Balan
Matthew Balan is a news analyst at Media Research Center