The Obamacare website debacle and beyond. (How to sign up even if you can't reach the website.)

Obamacare's glitch-riddled website doesn't have to stop you from buying health insurance.

There are alternatives to, the federal website where consumers will perhaps someday be able to shop for insurance plans under the Affordable Care Act, President Obama's signature health-care reform law. has struggled to become fully functional since its launch two weeks ago, frustrating users who want to buy a plan that will be in place by Jan. 1.

There is still plenty of time for the Obama administration to get things right. Enrollment runs until March 31. Consumers have until Dec. 15 to choose coverage that takes effect on New Year's Day. And buying insurance by Feb. 15 ensures you won't pay tax penalties for running afoul of the law's individual mandate that most U.S. residents get covered.

In the meantime, here are seven other ways people looking to buy insurance can get covered. Each has drawbacks, and none lives up to Obamacare's promise of easy, one-stop shopping. These workarounds may be enough for some consumers, especially those who aren't eligible for financial help. Applications for tax credits still have to go through the government's glitchy system.

(Click to read the entire article and find out how to sign up for Obamacare.)

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Maryland's site has still been riddled with bugs since the start. Still can't sign up. As a web designer I really feel bad for the teams trying to make these sites work. When you try to log on you get this error:

I don't know how that's even possible as a bug, but there it is.

Not seeing an error page. Instead I see a page which has a ".txt" extension, but strangely doesn't look much like a text page.

I often wonder why America won't adopt a insurance system like Australia, Public "Government funded" and Private Insurance. 

Several factors:

Virtually ALL conservatives feel that nothing run by the government can be efficient.

Many would cite the Post Office. Well, despite all the criticism and jokes, anyone who's experience the postal system in even rather prosperous countries soon realizes that the US Postal Service is better than all of them and FAR better than most. I remember years ago while visiting my then wife's parents in that paradigm of efficiency, Germany, they were amazed that it was normal for a first class piece of mail to go from coast to coast in about three days, sometimes two, without paying extra for air mail. And this was before Priority Mail. Letters often took longer than that to go across Germany, which is about the same size in sq. mi. as the US state of Montana.

I've had recent experience with the Veterans Administration, and I must say that despite the huge scale of this operation, I was impressed. Yes, one hears complaints about it in the news regularly but find a private corporation of similar size and you'll hear lots of complaints, too.

The other factor is the belief, held consciously or unconsciously by many Americans, that if someone can't take care of their own health needs on their own, there must be something wrong with them: They deserve their plight due to laziness or incompetence.


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