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Thursday
Oct102013

Obamacare Officials Defend Online Exchanges

File photo. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)(WASHINGTON) -- Obamacare officials are defending their health insurance exchanges after an online poll suggested that few Americans are happy with the newly launched program.

“This poll was conducted six days into a six-month educational campaign to reach Americans about their options in the new Health Insurance Marketplace,” Health and Human Services spokeswoman Joanne Peters said in a statement to ABC News. “The overwhelming attention from millions of Americans checking out HealthCare.gov during the first few days is a good test of the interest of Americans in new affordable health options.”

Although the marketplaces were spared from federal furloughs, a surge in Web traffic was blamed for frustrating lags and error messages throughout the early days of the launch. Americans trying to scope out their options at HealthCare.gov were instructed to “please wait” for the login page, which sometimes took several minutes to appear.

“We have a lot of visitors on our site right now and we’re working to make your experience here better,” the site message read. “Thanks for your patience!”

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius warned in late September that “glitches” would be inevitable, comparing the launch of the online exchanges to Apple’s latest software upgrade.

“No one is calling on Apple to not sell devices for a year, or to get out of the business because the whole thing is a failure,” Sebelius said, referring to a move by Republicans in the House to postpone the implementation of Obamacare by a year. “Everybody just assumes, ‘Well, there’s a problem, they’ll fix it, we’ll move on.’”

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio