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Major Garrett vs. Jay Carney On "Systematically Flawed" Rollout Of Obamacare

MAJOR GARRETT: I’m not a computer programmer; I’m not a specialist in writing code.  But there are lots of people out in the country who’ve been blogging about this for the past few days, some of them very sympathetic to the Affordable Care Act. Not hostile to its implementation. And they actually believe that yes, there is a problem with very strong curiosity and people logging on to the system, but they have also detected through some very simple forensic work on their own, that this is a failed system. It is coded improperly. Basic fundamental steps that should have been anticipated and built into a large government system like this simply don’t exist, or don’t exist in near the capacity they ought to. Is it true when you talk about this particular rollout as systematically flawed, in it’s construction.

JAY CARNEY: What I can tell you is that our top issue when it comes to the glitches has been the extraordinary number of people coming to check out plans and find out more about Obamacare, and the number has obviously exceeded expectations. Traffic at the website and at the call center continues to be high, suggesting a sustained interest by consumers in their healthcare options.

Now, getting to your question, nothing like this has been done before. But, peak levels of Medicare enrollment, concurrent users, were one eighth of the concurrent traffic on healthcare.gov.

GARRETT: But those numbers would be much smaller than this rollout would. Medicare is a discrete audience that has discrete user curiosity. This is a rollout right at the beginning. Wouldn’t you assume that there would be this huge interest, and you should build the system ready for it?

CARNEY: If we had listened to Republicans, I think the assumption would be that no one would enroll, nobody would have called, nobody would’ve…

GARRETT: You have to consult other people when you build a system, not congressional Republicans.

CARNEY: There has been unexpectedly high levels of interest, and we are taking action every day. That is the principle reason there is a problem.

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