I'm putting my tin foil hat on this morning and am going to do some speculating. The ACA websites seem to be having a lot of problems this morning. There should be only 2 reasons for this; 1) Millions of people are rushing to get low cost insurance or 2) The websites are under a Denial of Service attack.
I can't get to my Colorado exchange this morning, and many are complaining about getting to the national exchange. This isn't making sense that so many independent sites should be having problems at the same time. If other people know that their state is running their own exchanges, it would be nice if they would post how their experience has been.
I used to be a web administrator for a NASA data center and often had to deal with DDS attacks, and even big news events would increase our web traffic by factors of 100. We used a common webserver called Apache. When someone tries to connect to the website, this piece of software creates a copy of itself, in whole or part, to handle your browsers request to retrieve some information. There's a limit to how many requests it can handle before it starts slowing down and then starts rejecting requests or simply uses all the computers CPU just trying to make those copies.
A DDS attack is simply a computer or computers out on the internet that just make requests as fast as they can, (10s of thousands or more per second) until the webserver can't handle it anymore. We've had a pretty good idea for some time about how many people would be seeking insurance through Obamacare, so it seems the systems would have been scaled to handle many more than those expectations. This is why I'm wondering (and it's nothing but pure speculation) if there is an effort to try and crash these sites.
The last thing we should be doing is jumping up and down and screaming about how terrible the system is. If these sites are down because so many people are seeking insurance, that's great news. If they're down because of an attack, it won't be long before it's found and it gets reported in the media.
So with tin foil hat firmly in place, we all need to calm down until we find out what the problems so many independent exchanges are experiencing.