Traffic mess. The day before HealthCare.gov went live, IT officials warned the site could only handle 1,100 users out of the 60,000 it expected to receive at any one time. The revelation came from documents obtained by the House Committee on Government Oversight and Reform on Wednesday. On Sept. 30, Quality Software Services Inc. sent out the ACA (Affordable Care Act) Testing Bulletin noting the site’s shortcomings. The report said the goal was to test the site more and reach a target of “10,000 users in the next few days.” In reality, the site drew 250,000 concurrent users on the day it launched. The Obama administration has repeatedly blamed the dysfunction of HealthCare.gov on higher than expected traffic. The recent findings of the House Oversight Committee indicate that the site wasn’t ready for anything more than light traffic.
Sad song. Last night’s Country Music Awards roasted HealthCare.gov with a musical number pointing out the site’s deficiencies (see video clip below). Hosts Carrie Underwood and Brad Paisley sang a parody of George Strait’s “Amarillo by Morning” that opened, “Obamacare by morning / Why’s this taking so long?” Underwood joked with Paisley that she started signing up for Obamacare on Thursday and was almost done.
Not forgotten. Two members of Congress are asking the Obama administration to put more pressure on Iran to release Iranian-American pastor Saeed Abedini. The Iranian government recently moved Abedini, imprisoned for his faith for more than a year, to one of the country’s most brutal prisons. On Wednesday Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, released a statement saying Abedini’s situation had “reached a crisis point.” He said the president should refuse to participate in further talks with Iran over its nuclear program until Abedini is released. Rep. Frank Wolf, R-Va., released a similar statement, noting Abedini is “at the mercy of a murderous regime.” Negotiations between Iran and world powers began again today in Geneva.
Stock fever. Twitter joins the New York Stock Exchange today in one of the year’s most anticipated IPOs. Its shares, originally priced at $26, opened at $45.10. The company is valued at $18 billion, though it has never turned a profit in its seven years of existence.