posted on October 04, 2013 14:31 :: 641 Views
"Try back in a couple of weeks." That's the advice of The Avitus Group's Steve Bentley, an Obamacare expert, when it comes to shopping on the online health exchanges.
Bentley joined me on Thursday's Voices of Montana to look at how the first couple of days on the exchanges are going. Click here to listen to the full show when you find Thursday's podcast.
Montana Media Trackers tuned in and offers a summary here. Here's an excerpt:
“The government wasn’t prepared right,” stated Bentley. “We know the quote from Senator Baucus about the train wreck of implementation, we are seeing the train wreck develop in front of our eyes.”
“They didn’t get started early enough. They didn’t dedicate enough resources. What you’re hearing from all of the exchange related sources is that ‘we just didn’t expect this much traffic.’ Well, what did you expect?” Bentley said.”
Bentley went on to call the first day “horrible” and recounted how he tried to log on to Montana’s exchange at 4:00 a.m. on October 1 and was immediately met with a message saying that the site was busy. He said it took 90 minutes for him to be redirected to the page where one can create an account. The Montana exchange site crashed later that morning.
Before I send you off for the weekend, you may want to get out and enjoy some of our state parks here in Montana. While the government "shutdown" has blocked people from hiking in federally owned parks and hunting in federally owned wildlife refuges, Montana's 54 state parks are open for business. Not only are they open for business, but some report seeing an uptick in business.
Upon my request, Jennifer Lawson with Montana State Parks sent me this summary:
Eastern Montana is seeing some uptick – Makoshika State Park in Glendive (our largest state park) and Tongue River Reservoir State Park near Decker, Montana are seeing more visitors who said they intended to visit National Parks. These two parks are also reporting they are having more inquiries about if we are open than we typically do this time of year .
This is in from Region 4: Great Falls area – Parks Regional Manager
The number of fee envelopes in the iron ranger at Giant Springs has been significant lately. Giant Springs normally has out of state and Canadian visitors this time of year, but they would be greeted by closed doors at the L&C Interpretive Center (USFS) and are venturing over to Giant Springs.
(Note to Visitors. The “iron ranger” is a box where out of state visitors are asked to place their payment into based on the honor system. Montana residents have FREE daily entrance to state parks assuming they pay the once a year $6 dollar vehicle registration state parks fee.)
Region 3: Bozeman area says snowy weather has created a situation of no uptick.
Region 2: Missoula area – nothing noticeable as of yet
Region 1: Kalispell – too soon to say.
For information, seasonal hours, and directions to a state park near you; visit: www.stateparks.mt.gov
Meanwhile, here's a tweet which sums up what is happening at federally owned parks: (National Forests are open)