CBS News has a story on the ObamaCare website, with the bold from me:
Healthcare.gov launched more than a week ago, and while millions of Americans have signed into the site, not many have been able to actually sign up for insurance because of glitches with the website.
No one knows how many people have managed to enroll because the administration refuses to release those numbers, but the website’s launch has been rocky.
Media outlets have struggled to find anyone who’s actually been successful. The Washington Post even illustrated that sought-after person as a unicorn, and USA Today called the launch an “inexcusable mess” and a “nightmare.”
White House officials initially blamed the problem on an unexpectedly high volume as they had more than 8 million hits in the first week, but after it went offline over the weekend for repairs, officials now acknowledge other problems.
However, computer experts say the website has major flaws.
“It wasn’t designed well, it wasn’t implemented well, and it looks like nobody tested it,” said Luke Chung, an online database programmer.
Chung supports the new health care law but said it was not the demand that is crashing the site. He thinks the entire website needs a complete overhaul.
“It’s not even close. It’s not even ready for beta testing for my book. I would be ashamed and embarrassed if my organization delivered something like that,” he said.
So if nothing else, this is bad news for those who championed greater government involvement in health care, and said the people worried about it were a bunch of paranoid nuts who really, deep down, just wanted poor people to die, right? Nope, here’s Krugman from October 1 in a post titled “Good Glitches”:
So, very early reports are that Obamacare exchanges are, as expected, having some technical glitches on the first day — maybe even a bit worse than expected, because it appears that volume has been much bigger than predicted.
Here’s what you need to know: this is good, not bad, news for the program….
The big fear has been that a combination of ignorance and misinformation would keep people away, that they wouldn’t sign up either because they didn’t know that insurance was now available, or because Republicans had convinced them that the program was the spawn of the devil, or something. Lots of people logging on and signing up on the very first day — a day when the Kamikaze Kongress is dominating the headlines — is an early indication that it’s going to be fine, that plenty of people will sign up for the first year of health reform.
Yes, there may be some negative news stories about the glitches. But Obamacare is not up for a revote. As Jonathan Bernstein says, the only thing that matters is whether it works. And today’s heavy volume is yet another sign — along with abating health costs and below-expected premiums — that it will.
You see, in a liquidity trap, if people can’t sign up for a program, that’s a good thing for the program.
Less snarkily: This is just Klassic Krugman: With confidence he is downplaying the “glitches” when he obviously has no idea what he’s talking about. It’s not that Krugman is a pretty good amateur computer programmer, who saw the source code and simply has a difference of opinion from Luke Chung. No, Krugman just took the White House’s word for it that the glitches were due to high demand, then ran to his blog to defend the program. And, in fact, he said something that is probably flat-out false: “Lots of people logging on and signing up on the very first day…” We don’t know if it’s false, of course, because the most transparent Administration in history isn’t releasing any details about President Obama’s signature accomplishment.
So again, when progressives wonder, “Man, why do libertarians hate Krugman so much? It’s just because he’s so right about inflation, I guess” no, that’s not it.