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That is all.

Oh, for those wondering (like I was) why the HHS Dept. didn't simply snap up those other domain names as well: There's nothing precluding a government agency from registering non-GOV domains like .COM, .NET, etc; for instance, http://michigan.org is a link to the official Michigan Travel/Tourism Dept (ie, the "Pure Michigan" campaign).

HOWEVER, those other domains were already registered by other entities years before the ACA was enacted: healthcare.com was registered by someone way back in 1994, healthcare.org and .net were registered in 1995.

So, the government can register commercial domains like anyone else...but not if they're already owned. If they want those domains, they'd have to offer to buy out the current owners, and you just know that doing so would be turned into a huge nontroversy as well (I can already imagine the "eminent domain" vs. "frivolous waste of taxpayer money" arguments).

Anyway, feel free to repost the above graphic on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram etc. It's important that people don't immediately think that the whole ACA Exchange thing is a disaster--or get scammed by scumbags trying to rip people off over the confusion.

Update: Thanks to Blue in NC for pointing out that I should emphasize the importance of waiting a few days until the initial traffic drops off a bit. I've updated the graphic accordingly.

UPDATE x2: I've added a poll below; please choose whatever your own experience has been so far with the exchange websites (either Healthcare.Gov or your state exchange).

My own case: I already had created a user account a few weeks back, so I haven't run into the security question problem that others have reported. However, when I try logging in (which is hit & miss...sometimes it loads, sometimes it times out), it tries to authenticate my account, but then just brings up either a blank page (Chrome) or a "Downstream Error" message (Firefox).

Update x3: Well, I'm happy to say that I was finally able to log in...using Safari on Mac OS X. I got partway through the application process but decided to stop since my wife isn't here to go through it with me and I don't have all of our info ready yet; I'm not really looking to sign up today, I just wanted to see what the process is like.

At the very least, it does work (eventually); I mostly just wanted to make sure that my account wasn't screwed up. You'll have to have the SSN's of everyone in your family, financial/tax info and so forth handy to complete the process.

Anyway, I'll let it go for today and will return later this week or next.

Update x4: I should also note that I'll be very surprised if the White House or HHS Dept. releases any "First Day Signups" like Apple does with new iPhone sales and so on...my guess is that the vast majority of people visiting the site the first few days are going to be just setting up accounts, poking around, checking things out the way that I and many others here have been. Actually signing up for a plan requires you to have your SSN, tax info and so on, and in our case, we'd presumably be replacing our existing private coverage with a new plan, so we have to run a comparison between the two, etc. I wouldn't expect actual insurance plan signup figures to be released for the first week or so.

However, I'm sure they'll be releasing plenty of stats on how many people visit the sites and create accounts.

Originally posted to Brainwrap on Tue Oct 01, 2013 at 09:26 AM PDT.

Also republished by Cranky Users, KosAbility, and California politics.

Poll

My Obamacare/ACA Exchange Website Day 1 Experience

5%37 votes
11%74 votes
3%23 votes
14%92 votes
5%37 votes
33%218 votes
25%162 votes

| 643 votes | Vote | Results

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