Nightly News   |  October 10, 2013

Obamacare off to a confusing, rocky start

Although millions of Americans have been encouraged to sign up for health insurance coverage via Healthcare.gov, but people have been unable to get on the site – and the administration, so far, isn’t saying how many people have managed to enroll. NBC’s Tom Costello reports.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> if it weren't for the shutdown dominating the news we would be hearing and covering a lot more about how things are going for these new health care exchanges which were rolled out ten days ago. millions of uninsured americans are being en encouraged to go to health care .gov for coverage but it's been a rocky start. the website has been unable to handle the 10 million visitors who tried to log on.

>> reporter: week two of the obama care rollout and the "please wait" sign at health care .gov re mains an area of ridicule.

>> it's confusing.

>> reporter: from capitol hill to late night tv.

>> i'm going to uh try and download every movie ever made. you're going to try to sign up for obama care. we'll see which happens first.

>> reporter: by most accounts the website has been a mess, locking up, crashing and kicking off potential customers. of 260 people who tried to sign up at this clinic in the first week only a single person got through.

>> one. from 260 attempts.

>> reporter: in online discussion groups computer experts talk of coding and software problems that could take weeks or months to fix. it's tough to have a worse launch of a nationwide site.

>> i think everybody is shocked who's been watching this from the inside at how bad it is and how bad the computer programming and software and code and architecture is.

>> reporter: while the federal website struggled the states offering their own exchanges have had much more success. kentucky gets very high marks. they have already signed up 7,000 people. for months experts tried to warn people health care .gov wasn't ready to go live but the administration decided to go with it. the chief technology officer says they designed it to handle 50,000 to 60,000 simultaneous users. instead, five times that many -- 250,000 -- have been trying to the access health care .gov.

>> we are making improvements every day. by the time we are done in six months, millions of folks will have insurance.

>> reporter: so far the white house isn't saying how many people managed to en roll. industry sources say the numbers could be embarrassingly low. tom costello, nbc news, washington.