Pres. Obama said today that buying Obamacare health insurance through the administration's www.healthcare.gov website is the same as buying something on Kayak.com or Amazon.com.
In a speech defending Obamacare, the issue driving the government shutdown/budget battle, Obama declared:
"[S]tarting today, you and your friends and your family and your coworkers can get covered, too. Just visit healthcare.gov, and there you can compare insurance plans, side by side, the same way you'd shop for a plane ticket on Kayak or a TV on Amazon.
"You enter some basic information, you'll be presented with a list of quality, affordable plans that are available in your area, with clear descriptions of what each plan covers, and what it will cost. You'll find more choices, more competition, and in many cases, lower prices -- most uninsured Americans will find that they can get covered for $100 or less."
And, instead of taking his word, Americans should try the website out for themselves, Obama said:
"And you don't have to take my word for it. Go on the website, healthcare.gov, check it out for yourself. And then show it to your family and your friends and help them get covered, just like mayors and churches and community groups and companies are already fanning out to do across the country."
But, both an MSNBC host and a congressman tried to use the site and failed due to error messages.
National Review reports on MSNBC's unsuccessful bid to show how easy the site is to use:
"MSNBC's Mara Schiavocampo ran into difficulties as she tried to sign up for the newly launched health-care exchanges on Tuesday. After getting an error message on the website, she called the help line twice, but wasn't able to reach a navigator on the other end. Instead, she was put on hold for 35 minutes."
"Congressman Tom Cotton of Arkansas was blocked from signing up for Obamacare due to glitches earlier today on the healthcare.gov website. Cotton tweeted the two separate error messages he encountered."
Of course, maybe, Schiavocampo and Cotton don't do a lot of online shopping.