CNN On-Air Test of Obamacare Website a Bust

Thursday, 24 Oct 2013 07:49 PM

By Greg Richter

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CNN had three young people who wanted to sign up for health insurance on the Obamacare website test the system on live TV Thursday, and came away with mixed, but disappointing, results.

The trio sat at laptop computers and began their attempts at the beginning of "The Situation Room,"  but at the end of the 90-minute program, only one had enrolled in coverage.

Reporters such as Fox News Channel personalities Ainsley Earhardt and Peter Doocy have made repeated attempts to get through the HealthCare.gov website since its Oct. 1 launch, but, much like actual customers, the journalists have been met with screens telling them to try again.

CNN's testers were actual potential customers trying to find coverage on the health insurance exchanges. They said they have grown up using the Internet, and were discouraged by the website's performance.

Story continues below video.



One of the three, Hazami Barmada, at one point gave up trying to sign in and applied for a paper application. But before the program ended she said she had received an email saying she would be allowed to sign up.

"It was a very easy process once I got through," she said, though she still had a "please wait" notice on her screen at the program's end.

Reporter Tom Foreman tweeted about her success.



Gabe Cohen found the process a slow crawl. At one point, Cohen was told he might have to wait up to 45 days to learn whether he was eligible.

By the end of the program he had found some success.

"I think I've done everything I can today," Cohen said, "which is apply for Medicaid. And I think I applied for something else, I wasn't even quite sure."

Now, Cohen said, "I sit and I wait."

Laura McNeil was continually kicked back, much like Fox's Earhardt has reported daily on "Hannity." 

McNeil said she is interested to see whether Barmada ended up being able to sign up after her "please wait" screen stopped, but that didn't happened before the show ended.

Related Stories:

Obamacare Website Tested Only Days Before Launch
Sen. Nelson: 'Somebody Ought to Get Fired' for Obamacare Mess




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