Kathleen Sebelius, the secretary of Health and Human Services and the White House’s chief Obamacare cheerleader, was left ashen-faced during a photo-op on Tuesday when volunteers helping Floridians use healthcare.gov were faced with a website that didn’t work.
While reporters trailed her during a tour of a Miami hospital, one noticed that the site was crashing.
‘The screen says, “I’m sorry but the system is temporarily down,”‘ CBS-TV4 reporter Brian Andrews told Sebelius, who could only mutter a surprised, ‘Uh oh.’
The unlucky volunteer Obamacare ‘navigator’ operating the laptop told Sebelius that her marquee website still displays that message a lot, even after weeks of assurances from the Obama administration that help is on the way.
‘That happens every day,’ the woman said, before insisting that ‘it must mean a lot of people are on there trying to get coverage.’
The federal government revealed last week that just 27,000 Americans were able to use the website between Oct. 1 and Nov. 2 to select new health insurance plans. That number included people who left their orders in virtual shopping carts without paying for them.
With TV cameras in tow, the final insult came as a Miami resident told Sebelius about his own experience trying to work with a navigator to sign up online.
‘It went down three times,’ the man said, ‘but we’re just going to keep trying.