Well, things sure are going swimmingly in Massachusetts.
The state website residents must use to sign up for Obamacare health plans is riddled with infuriating computer flaws that cut off people with hyphenated names and force others to falsely say they are prison inmates or mental patients before they can finish their applications, a Herald review found.
The review comes just a week after President Obama came to Massachusetts — the birthplace of Romneycare, the model for the White House’s universal health care plan — to defend massive problems with the national website.
The review of angry posts from scores of frustrated applicants on the Massachusetts Health Connector website and Facebook page found a wide range of complaints, from frequent computer crashes, to long waits on the phone, to absurd glitches.
Among those snagged by the computer problems and interviewed by the Herald:
• Adam Romanow of South Boston said he hit a wall on the website Wednesday night, when he answered ‘No’ to a question asking if he’s currently incarcerated. “It immediately brought up, ‘We couldn’t electronically verify your incarceration status. Please submit proof of your incarceration,’” Romanow said. “It was crazy … I’ve never had handcuffs on in my life.”
• Nancy Wilde, who lives in a Boston suburb, clicked “No” to a question on the website — and was then asked if she was locked up in a mental hospital or awaiting arraignment;
The people who created this mess are the ones who should be awaiting arraignment.
• Two women posted to the Connector’s Facebook page that the site wouldn’t let them complete their applications because their last names are hyphenated. The Connector suggested one of them call customer service;
Yeah, good luck with that. This would be amusing except for the facts millions of people have to suffer through this ordeal.
“It’s a nightmare. It’s a total frustration,” Romanow said. “With something like health care and when it’s something the state is running, when you release it to the public, it’s got to be perfect, or at least 99.9 percent. Right now it’s running at 60 percent, and that’s being optimistic.”
The Health Connector yesterday refused to answer even basic questions about the raft of complaints, and instead issued a statement.
“We know some users have had frustrating experiences, and we are doing everything possible to fix the issues those individuals are experiencing,” said spokesman Jason Lefferts.