The Affordable Care Act, the controversial federal program that deadlocked the U.S. Congress and led to a government shutdown last night, officially took effect today as enrollment began in the new online health-care exchanges.
But if you're trying to sign up, you may have to wait as Healthcare.gov appears to be experiencing delays.
All seems well when you visit the enrollment site, but once you select your state of residence, you receive a "Please wait" message. "We have a lot of visitors on our site right now and we're working to make your experience here better," the message reads. "Please wait here until we send you to the login page. Thanks for your patience!"
The delays aren't severe. At time of writing, the delay was less than 10 minutes, after which the visitor was directed to an online signup form. And, with 181 days remaining in which to enroll, it appears that Obamacare will proceed apace.
UPDATE: The glitches may be more problematic than originally thought. According to a report by The Hill, high web traffic is causing the technical problems and preventing people from enrolling in the new exchanges. David Simas, a White House communications advisor, tweeted this morning that Healthcare.gov had received one million visits in the preceding 24 hours.
As of 12:00 p.m. Eastern time, only two states, California and Connecticut, had reported successful signups on their exchanges.